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

Articles and Reports

Squalor in the Laboratories
An Audit of Animal Welfare Act Compliance by U.S. Research Facilities; With Detailed Examinations of Fifteen Nationally Known Labs
By Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director,
Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
513-575-5517 saen@saenonline.org  

National Animal Welfare Act Violations

USDA/APHIS information regarding violations of the AWA is available on the USDA website at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ac/violationssumwopara.pdf and http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ac/FY2002_3_81_violation_sum.PDF.

Upon examining the violations listed by the USDA, it becomes apparent that they fall into two categories. Some violations are relevant only to specific types of facilities. For example, research facilities are required by the AWA to maintain committees (Institutional Animal Care & Use Committees IACUC) that evaluate and approve research protocols before they are performed. No other type of facility is required to have such a committee. Therefore violations regarding IACUCs are specific to research facilities. The second type of violation is not facility specific. This type of violation would include general requirements (i.e. feeding, watering & housing of each covered species). These violations are not facility specific, and are listed by the USDA in such a way as to make it impossible to determine the type of facility that had the violation.

In the area of violations that are specific to facility type and based on the section of the AWA violated, there were 1106 total violations from research facilities during 2002. These violations affected a total of 16,340 animals. Most salient among these violations were the 286 separate violations for inadequate veterinary care. This indicates that about 1 out of every 4 laboratories was cited for inadequate veterinary care. The table below lists these violations.

Summary of Animal Welfare Act Violations in Laboratories for 2002

Violation Category

#Violations

#Animals Affected

Registration 21 22

Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee

635 3,075
Personnel Qualifications 63  301

Attending Veterinarian and Adequate Veterinary Care

286 12,222
Record Keeping Requirements 33 660
Annual Report 13 60
Miscellaneous 55 2,507
Totals 1106 16,340

The USDA information contained 10,617 other violations in areas such as providing food & water, primary enclosures, indoor and outdoor facilities, etc. However, it was not possible to separate these violations in these areas for research facilities from those for dealers, exhibitors, etc. These violations are in the basic areas which could potentially effect any type of facility.

It is also significant to note that there were 227 separate violations of the requirements for providing environmental enhancement for primates. Many of these violations took place in research facilities. The trend towards non-compliance with this new area of enforcement will be examined when specific facilities are discussed.

Due to the nature of the USDA data, it is not possible to give totals for all violations that took place within U.S. laboratories. However, it is safe to conclude that the violations total listed above would be substantially increased if this were possible. It is also safe to conclude that all is NOT well within U.S. laboratories.

Go on to Violations at Specific Facilities
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