RENO, Nevada (AP) -- A seven-month federal investigation
has concluded that a Nevada university mistreated research animals, and
the school has agreed to pay an $11,400 fine to settle the case.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture cited the University of
Nevada, Reno, for 46 federal animal welfare violations between May 2004
and March 2005.
Violations included repeatedly leaving 10 research pigs
with inadequate water and housing, poor sanitation at animal care
facilities, lack of veterinary care, and failure to investigate complaints
of animal neglect.
School officials agreed to pay the fine Friday but said
they disagree with some of the agency's findings.
University President John Lilley said in a statement that
the school has addressed the USDA's concerns and is "firmly committed to
the appropriate treatment of animals under our care."
The investigation began shortly after associate professor
Hussein S. Hussein, an internationally known animal nutrition researcher,
alleged abuse of research animals in complaints to the USDA last summer.
The Reno Gazette-Journal later reported that 38 pregnant
sheep died in October 2002 while they were inside a locked gate without
food or water for three days.
Hussein has filed two lawsuits in federal court against
the university, Lilley and other administrators accusing them of reprisals
and trying to fire him since he complained. Both lawsuits are pending.
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