USDA finds seven violations at Methodist Research Institute

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Please contact Elizabeth Goldentyer to demand that the Methodist Medical Research Institute of Indiana University receive the largest fine possible under the Animal Welfare Act for the negligence which killed a dog during a medical procedure, and caused a second dog to experience severe pain.

Please insist that the USDA issue a fine, and let Dr. Goldentyer know that she MUST take action now!

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

http://www.fox59.com/news/wxin-usda-finds-seven-violations-at-methodist-research-institute-20120409,0,4630761.column

USDA finds seven violations at Methodist Research Institute

By Joe LePage, Fox59.com, Monday, April 9, 2012

"Deficiencies were not noted," "failure to comply," were just a couple of the phrases used to describe the USDA's latest visit to the Methodist Research Institute at IU Health.

Animal rights activist Michael Budkie said another word describes the report best, "negligent."

"These were things that were entirely preventable, they never should have happened, and they are the kind of violations that are of such a basic nature that they should be severely penalized," said Budkie. "That is what we are hoping to achieve."

A dog that died on the operating table after it was fed before surgery, another dog that was in too much pain to eat due to a lack of medication are two of the "things" Budkie is talking about.

The Executive Director of Stop Animal Exploitation Now, or S.A.E.N., has filed a complaint with the USDA and wants the Research Institute at IU Health to pay.

"Animals in research facilities are very often considered to be not much more than just a part of the laboratory apparatus and clearly that is what is happening at this research facility," said Budkie.

In all, the USDA inspector found seven infractions. It was the worst inspection ever tallied at the facility.

"The worst of the worst? No, but being written up for seven non-compliances in one inspection, that is a substantial number," said Dave Sacks with the USDA.

Sacks said it is up to the treatment facility to come up with operating protocol and it's the USDA's job to make sure that plan is followed.

"We have the ability to not only inspect these facilities, but also investigate them if we think they have some violations," said Sacks.

Along with being investigated, a research facility can also be fined $10,000 every infraction. That would mean a $70,000 fine, exactly what Budkie wants to see happen.

"There is someone looking over their shoulder and it is not just the USDA because the people of the United States have a right to know what goes on inside research facilities like this," said Budkie.

Representatives from the Research Institute at IU Health declined to speak on-camera with Fox 59, but they did issue the following statement:

"The use of animals in research has contributed significantly to advancements in healthcare. The Methodist Research Institute has an established Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), a formal oversight committee to ensure the proper care, use and humane treatment of laboratory animals.

"This group reviews all proposed use of animals, oversees the research and inspects animal research facilities on a routine basis. They also have the authority to suspend any study or activity that does not comply with state and federal laws or Indiana University Health standards."

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