CSU cited for violating research protocol
Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
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CSU cited for
violating research protocol
BY TREVOR HUGHES • TrevorHughes@coloradoan.com • January 21, 2010
Federal animal-welfare inspectors last year cited CSU researchers for three violations, including one instance where a researcher was found repeatedly violating research protocols and another where a kitten was found dead.
In the third instance, a Colorado State University researcher admitted to leaving the key to a secure building outside so people considering adopting research dogs could come inside when they wanted. That researcher also lost control of a dog that escaped overnight, according to university records.
Inspectors with the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service noted the violations during a routine visit last January, according to the report made public Wednesday by the anti-animal testing group Stop Animal Exploitation Now.
Federal law sets out strict protocols governing how research on animals can be conducted, including requirements for close monitoring and peer review. SAEN spokesman Michael Budkie said the report indicates CSU has demonstrated a "very serious level of carelessness."
He added: "It becomes clear that the officials responsible for supervising research at Colorado State University aren't doing their job."
In a statement, university officials said CSU takes the incidents seriously and upholds "the highest standards of animal care."
In the statement, the university said the kitten apparently got tangled in a ripped or torn blanket or towel being used for bedding in its cage.
"This animal's death was a highly unusual circumstance. Additional training was put in place for towel and bedding inspection, and new protocol was developed to avoid such an unfortunate situation in the future. USDA did document the incident, but no fines or sanctions were put in place against the university," the statement said.
In the case of the escaped dog, CSU officials said the dog was recovered without harm, and policies were changed to help prevent a repeat occurrence. In meeting minutes provided by the university, members of CSU's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee on Wednesday called the researcher's actions "irresponsible" and "showed a lack of understanding about the seriousness" of treating animals well and following university protocol.
Again, the USDA cited the university but levied no fines or penalties.
The third incident remains under investigation, the university said. Neither the USDA nor the university disclosed the nature of the experiments being conducted.
“The incident refers to a researcher who deviated from a protocol in how animals were handled. The protocol had been previously approved for a project by the USDA,” university officials said. “The university is continuing to work closely with the USDA and is committed to taking all appropriate measures to address the issue.”.
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