$21,750 in Fines for Animal Welfare Act Violations

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$21,750 in Fines for Animal Welfare Act Violations

From ABQ Journal, Monday, June 13, 2011

Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute will have to pay a $21,750 fine for a series of Animal Welfare Act violations between 2007 and 2009, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced.

The institute does research on the prevention, treatment and cure of respiratory dis ease, according to its website.

It conducts testing on a variety of animals, including dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters and monkeys, according to annual reports submitted to the USDA. Those reports said the facility also uses the animals to test biochemical agents that could be used by terrorists, among other things.

The six violations for which the institute was fined included failing to file semi-annual evaluations on time; failing to consider alternatives to procedures that caused pain or distress to animals; failing to ensure employees performing procedures were qualified; failing to establish a system of adequate veterinary care; and two counts of failing to build adequate facilities for primates.

The USDA said a monkey choked to death after trying to free himself when he got caught on a hook in his enclosure.

Institute spokeswoman Kyla Thompson declined to comment on the fine.

Also see: USDA Investigative and Enforcement Services Settlement Agreement - 24 Jun 2011  and Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, NM

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