Animal rights group claims negligence at Ala. firm

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http://www.gadsdentimes.com/article/20110305/APN/1103051032

The Associated Press
Published: Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 1:50 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 1:50 p.m.

Animal rights group claims negligence at Ala. firm

An animal rights group asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fine an Alabama research institute $50,000 for the deaths of a monkey and two ferrets, and the mistreatment of two other ferrets.

The complaint by the group, Stop Animal Exploitation Now!, claims the Southern Research Institute was negligent and provided inadequate care for the animals.

The USDA filed a report in January that found one of the macaques died of suffocation. It said that corrective measures were taken to prevent that from happening again.

The investigation also discovered that four ferrets being carried from one building to another were left in their transport enclosure for two hours. Two died from overheating and the other two had to be treated. The report said the institute took corrective actions.

Institute spokeswoman Rhonda Jung said in a statement the matter has been investigated and the institute considers it closed.

"We follow stringent reporting guidelines and regulatory agencies routinely inspect our facilities and practices," she said. "We place a high premium on animal care and safety, and try to anticipate and prevent accidents at all times."

But Michael Budkie, the executive director of the animal rights group, said he hopes regulators make an example of the institute.

"It is clear from these two incidents of negligence that the staff of SRI has an entirely inappropriate and utterly slipshod attitude about the lives of the animals which are in their care," he said in a letter to regulators. "Attitudes such as this potentially endanger the lives of all of the animals at SRI.".

Negligence at the Southern Research Institute killed a monkey and two ferrets, while subjecting two more ferrets to severe hyperthermia (heat stress). This horrible facility must be held accountable. The USDA must levy the largest fine allowable by law, potentially $50,000.

Please contact the USDA to insist that they take immediate action against this facility’s fatal negligence.

Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer
Director, Eastern Region
USDA/APHIS/AC
920 Main Campus Dr, Ste 2000
Raleigh, NC 27606
(919) 855-7100
Betty.J.Goldentyer@usda.gov

See Also:
Southern Research Institute - Birmingham, AL
USDA Inspection Report - 20 Jan 2011
Letter of Complaint to USDA About Southern Research Institute - 4 Mar 2011
Federal Investigation Cites SRI lab in Multiple Animal Deaths; Watchdog Group Demands $50,000 Fine - 4 Mar 2011
Complaint against Southern Research alleges animal negligence - 5 Mar 2011
Animal rights group claims negligence at Ala. firm - 5 Mar 2011

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