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

Media Coverage

Group ranks Iowa second-most painful state for lab animals

By Cindy Hadish - The Gazette cindy.hadish@gazettecommunications.com 

A national research watchdog group ranked Iowa second nationwide in its list of the "10 most painful states" for animals used in laboratories.

Ohio-based Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! based its rankings on U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal Welfare Enforcement Reports for unrelieved pain in experimental animals.

According to the group, Iowa had 12,088 lab animals listed under the category of unrelieved pain and the state ranked highest in laboratory cats experiencing pain, with 190.

New York ranked first in the group's report, followed by Iowa, Maryland, Michigan and Georgia, Texas, Utah, Missouri, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

The group's executive director, Michael Budkie, said the report released earlier this month was based on statistical compilation of 2006 data.

More detailed reports about individual laboratories in the state take years for the USDA to release, he said.

Based on previous USDA reports, Budkie said, hamsters used in pharmaceutical testing were the primary animals to suffer unrelieved pain in labs.

Nationwide, laboratory violations of the Animal Welfare Act, which regulates how labs conduct and report experiments, increased by 18.4 percent in one year and 90 percent in the last five years, he said.

The University of Iowa was among the top users of animals in experiments in Eastern Iowa, according to USDA reports from 2003.

None of the 1,600 or so animals in that report were listed under the category of "unrelieved pain."

"It's been zero for years," said UI biology professor emeritus Richard Sjolund, chairman of the UI Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, which oversees all animal research at the UI. "They're not, in fact, at the University of Iowa."

Budkie said his group is not affiliated with the Animal Liberation Front, an animal rights organization that claimed credit for a 2004 break-in and vandalism to the UI's Spence Labs and Seashore Hall.

http://www.gazetteonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080220/NEWS/513423745/1006/news

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