3 dogs die in custody
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3 dogs die in custody
By Robert Allen, Coloradoan.com, Friday, February 3, 2012
Animals were in care of company conducting experiments
A company that conducts medical experiments on animals in Fort Collins was cited in a federal inspection after three dogs died in its custody.
As the Department of Agriculture decides whether to conduct an investigation, a national animal-advocacy group “outraged” by the deaths is calling for fines.
Care Research LLC, researched medical treatment using 28 dogs, 51 rabbits, 11 pigs and eight sheep last year. An unannounced December inspection resulted in findings that three dogs died in May, two days after an automatic watering system was discovered malfunctioning for an undetermined amount of time.
Spokespeople with the medical-research company said it is committed to complying with government standards.
“Although the precise cause of the incident was not ascertained, the effects observed were not explainable by dehydration or water deprivation. We have taken steps to ensure that this unfortunate result does not happen again,” according to a letter from Rajan Bawa, Ph.D with Care Research to the Coloradoan.
Michael Budkie, executive director of Stop Animal Exploitation Now!, said in a letter he is “outraged by the multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act” and the nature of the citations against Care Research.
The USDA inspection found a director with Care Research, rather than the dogs’ veterinarian, conducted the postmortem exams.
“It’s very interesting that they did the postmortems on the dogs without contacting a veterinarian to see them,” Budkie said in an interview with the Coloradoan. “The veterinarian probably is the one who should’ve been doing the postmortems, and that’s one of the reasons we think they’re trying to cover up the cause of the dogs’ death.”
The citations also states that no specimens were taken for further testing to determine cause of death. The dogs had been released from a research study a week before they died, and they hadn’t been expected to have any adverse outcome. They also hadn’t shown symptoms, according to the inspection report.
The citations were on four “indirect” matters, the least-serious of three types, which also can include “direct” and “repeat,” said USDA spokesman David Sacks.
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