Chicago Sun Times
July 22, 2008
BY STEFANO ESPOSITO [email protected]
Sloppy work at Loyola University Chicago's Stritch School of Medicine
research lab in Maywood led to the deaths of five dogs and seven
rabbits, according to an animal-rights group that reviewed 2006-07
federal inspection reports.
"If a medical school can't adequately supervise experiments involving
dogs and rabbits, then those projects should be immediately terminated,"
said Michael Budkie, executive director of Stop Animal Exploitation NOW,
based in Milford, Ohio.
Budkie said that based on his group's review of hundreds of federal
inspection reports of labs nationwide, Loyola is "in the running to be
one of the worst labs in the country."
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which conducted
the routine inspections, downplayed the problems at Loyola, calling them
"We issued [Loyola] a letter of warning," Karen Eggert, a USDA
spokeswoman, said Monday. "We went back, and there haven't been any
In a written statement, Loyola medical school spokeswoman Anne Dillon
said lab researchers are "dedicated to socially responsible biomedical
Dillon also noted that "all situations have been corrected to the
satisfaction of USDA inspectors."
In its report, SAEN noted 22 violations during three federal
inspections. In one instance cited by the USDA in November 2007, a lab
worker collecting bone marrow from a rabbit's leg apparently broke the
bone, and the rabbit was found dead the next day. In another from
January 2007, five dogs died after being left without care or monitoring
overnight just after surgery.
The group also noted that one experiment involving dogs had a 44
percent death rate.
Budkie said he's contacted Loyola's administration to demand his
group be allowed to inspect the university's research facilities, but
hasn't received a response.
"If everything is OK there, then the folks at Loyola should have no
problem whatsoever . . . in allowing me to tour their facility and
inspect their animals," Budkie said.