Friday, July 25, 2008
BY ALEX NIXON
MATTAWAN -- An Ohio-based animal-rights group says a
federal-government inspection report shows MPI Research committed
``serious violations of federal regulations which led directly to
unnecessary pain and suffering for animals.''
Stop Animal Exploitation Now this week released a copy of an October
2007 inspection report on MPI's Mattawan facility that listed two
violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
Officials of MPI and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which
performed the inspection, both said two violations were found but that
they have been corrected.
In one of the violations, researchers failed to include among written
records information that test animals receiving a specific drug could
experience alopecia, or loss of hair. Two animals receiving the drug
were found by an inspector to be ``suffering from significant
alopecia,'' the report stated.
In the second violation, a nonresponsive and barely breathing dog was
not euthanized ``in a timely manner,'' the report stated.
MPI was inspected again in June and found no problems, said Nolan
Lemon, a spokesman for the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service, which has regulatory authority over animal care at research
facilities such as MPI.
MPI has never been fined by the USDA, Lemon said.
``It's not unusual for even a good facility to get some citations
from time to time,'' Lemon said. ``The important thing is to get them
cleared up as soon as possible. They've got a clean inspection record
MPI President and Chief Operating Officer William Harrison said the
company resolved the violations ``immediately'' and upon reinspection in
June had ``no findings.''
``We take the animal regulations from USDA very seriously,'' Harrison
Michael Budkie, executive director of Stop Animal Exploitation Now,
twice has requested the USDA investigate MPI for violations Budkie says
he learned about from company whistle-blowers.
Budkie has refused to reveal his sources, saying they fear reprisal
Budkie first called for an investigation of MPI in October, during
National Primate Liberation Week.
In April, after MPI's announcement of a $330 million expansion,
Budkie again asked authorities to inspect the company. Budkie said the
request was not related to MPI expansion but to World Laboratory Animal
P I Research, L.L.C., Mattawan, MI