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

Media Coverage

UCSF Primate Research Is Target Of Watchdog Group

POSTED: 8:24 pm PDT July 19, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO -- An animal rights group has filed a criticism with federal regulators claiming that in recent years the University of California, San Francisco violated the Animal Welfare Act in its handling of primates used for study.

Ohio-based Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) has filed an official complaint with the USDA about UCSF and its research practices on primates, the group announced today.

SAEN alleges that UCSF researchers have violated federal law by depriving research subjects of water for days at a time and then hiding the information from federal regulators, SAEN executive director Michael Budkie said at a news conference in San Francisco today.

SAEN is also alleging that UCSF routinely duplicates research experiments to obtain continued federal funding, calling the research "scientifically meaningless" and that UCSF is essentially burning dollars to what is basically general research information.

Additionally, Budkie made claims that UCSF has violated laws that regulate how soon an animal can be used for any research experiment after it has been involved in operative research.

Corinna Kaarlela, a spokeswoman for UCSF, responded today in a statement, writng that the "USDA has internal systems in place to respond and/or investigate all concerns regarding laboratory animals that are brought to its attention. Just like all other institutions involved in similar research, UCSF is committed to full cooperation with USDA."

Referring to SAEN, Kaarlela said that while UCSF believes certain animal activist organizations are philosophically opposed to animal research, Budkie's statistics and information included in SAEN's complaint are presented out of context and in a way that misrepresents the facts.

Based on university lab procedures from 2004 and 2005 that were obtained through the Public Records Act, SAEN hopes to show USDA investigators that UCSF has routinely violated federal laws by mistreating animals and misrepresenting research and hiding abuse from USDA regulators.

"Experiments at UCSF violate multiple sections of federal law and result in duplicative research whose chief value is to pad the budget of UCSF," Budkie wrote in his complaint to the USDA. "It is obvious that UCSF has filed blatantly dishonest documents with the USDA."

Kaarlela addressed Tuesday's complaint to the USDA filed by SAEN by citing the USDA's most recent inspection report of university animal research facilities.

"We want to point out that the records regarding certain primate studies noted by a recent animal rights organization letter to the USDA
(7/17/07) were reviewed by the UCSF IACUC, internal staff and certainly by USDA on several occasions," the statement reads. "As seen in the
2006 USDA inspection report, these items were not listed as deficiencies."

UCSF recently received full renewal of its accreditation by the independent organization Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC), which according to Kaarlela is recognized as the gold standard for animal care facilities.

In 2006 SAEN filed similar allegations to the USDA concerning animal rights abuses at UC Davis' primate lab. On Monday those allegations were deemed unfounded, out of context or too vague by members of the campus Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

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