Group Faults Animal Research
April 24, 2004
A group seeking to end the use of animals in medical
research said Friday that three Connecticut schools are among the
nation's worst violators of animal welfare regulations.
The report, compiled by the Cincinnati-based group
Stop Animal Exploitation Now, lists laboratory violations found at 25
research institutions during federal inspections between 1999 and 2003.
More than 1,000 institutions use animals in research,
but only 25 were reviewed in the report, a group spokesman said.
The University of Connecticut at Storrs had 43
violations, the third-highest number of violations among the 25 labs.
UConn Health Center in Farmington ranked 10th with 25 violations, and
Yale University Medical School was 14th with 14 violations.
Altogether, the group counted 559 violations at the 25
Although the list of violators was not comprehensive,
"we believe the top 10, at least, are among the worst violators in the
country," said Michael Budkie, executive director of SAEN.
The rankings are fundamentally misleading because they
do not include hundreds of schools, said UConn Health Center's chief
spokesman Jim Walter, who said the school remains in good standing with
the chief animal welfare accrediting association.
In March 2002, UConn was fined $129,000 for violations
of the federal Animal Welfare Act. Among complaints that led to the fine
were the death of 22 naked mole rats due to neglect when their caretaker
went on vacation. Also, a rabbit died during surgery conducted by an
At the time, UConn pledged to spend more than $20
million to correct problems.
No violations directly affecting animal welfare have
been found since the fine and the UConn got a perfect score on its
inspection in January, said spokeswoman Karen Grava.
Spokesmen for Yale could not be reached for comment