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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

Articles and Reports

Breaking the Law:
Animal Care in U.S. Labs
By Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director,
Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
513-575-5517 saen@saenonline.org  

Violations of the Animal Welfare Act at 25 U.S. Laboratories

The statistics which are the basis of this report are contained in the table which is in Appendix A. This table lists all facilities, categorizes the violations at these facilities, and provides totals for each facility. The table also provides information on the number of animals used at each facility.

This section will discuss trends in a more overall fashion. All 25 of these facilities had substantial violations of the Animal Welfare Act during the three-year period which was analyzed. The violations were of many different types. Examples of the violations include: Veterinary care, Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee, Food, Water, Enclosures, Environmental Enhancement (for primates), Personnel Qualifications, Housekeeping, Cleaning and Sanitation, etc. Virtually every aspect of the functioning of a research facility was represented in the violations by these facilities.

The table lists only five categories of violations. They are: IACUC, Vet Care, Environmental Enhancement, Food/H2O, and Miscellaneous (everything not in the first four categories). The table also lists numbers of repeat violations, and direct violations (violations which directly impact a specific animal). The significance of these violations can only be understood if their meaning is explained.

The Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) is the body which is responsible for enforcing the Animal Welfare Act in a research facility on a daily basis. This committee performs inspections, reviews and approves protocols, etc. Only one of the facilities mentioned did not have a violation in this area. The remaining 24 labs compiled a total of 151 violations in this category (an average of 6.3 violations per lab). 96% of the labs examined had violations in this area. 88% of the labs examined had more than one violation in this category. The most glaring instance of non-compliance in this area is the University of California, San Francisco who had 25 violations in this category over a three year period. The University of Pennsylvania came in second with 12 violations. The University of Connecticut (Farmington) and Mount Ida College tied for third with 10 violations each.

Veterinary Care is the second area of compliance discussed in the table. This area covers everything from providing care for sick animals to the use of expired drugs. 22 (88%) of the 25 labs examined had violations concerning veterinary care. 76% of the facilities had repeated violations in this area. The leader in this category was (again) the University of California, San Francisco with 9. Johns Hopkins University placed second with 8 non-compliances in this category. The University of Pennsylvania and the University of Puerto Rico tied for third with 7 violations.

Environmental Enhancement is the provision of psychologically stimulating items and activities to keep primates from developing psychological pathologies as a result of confinement. This category is relevant to 24 of the 25 labs -- Mount Ida College does not use primates. There were 46 violations in this category involving 71% of the eligible labs, with half of them having repeated violations in this area. The University of Pennsylvania was worst in this category with 7 violations.

The category of Food and Water involves providing adequate and nutritious food and water to animals within labs. There were 15 violations in this category involving 36% of the labs. The majority of these labs had repeated violations in this area.

The Miscellaneous category of violations consisted of personnel, housekeeping, sanitation, etc. Every lab examined had violations in this category. The highest number of violations in this category was at the University of Florida (33), with the University of Connecticut coming in second with 28.

Direct is the category of violations where non-compliances that directly affected animals are reported. 14 labs (56%) had violations in this category with the University of California, San Francisco leading with 10. The University of Connecticut (Storrs) came in second with 7.

Repeat is a category where instances where a specific violation, (i.e. exactly the same violation -- the same rule broken in exactly the same place) are reported. The University of California, San Francisco is again leading the pack with 30. The University of Connecticut (Storrs) comes in a distant second with 14.

Total is the category that lists the sum of all violations at a specific facility. This is not a total of all other columns. The violations listed in the Direct and Repeat columns actually duplicate violations listed in other categories.

The facilities are listed in the table in descending order using the statistics in the total column. Therefore, the facilities listed at the very top of the table have the worst records for violating the AWA of the facilities which were examined for this report. It is possible that other labs may have had more violations than the facilities which were examined for this report, because not every lab in the U.S. was investigated. However, it is safe to say that the top 10 15 labs mentioned in this table are among the worst facilities in the U.S.

Go on to Examples of Violations

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