Harvard cited for mice deaths
Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"
Please contact the President
of Harvard, Drew Gilpin Faust, to demand that all abuse of animals at
Drew Gilpin Faust
Please contact Dr. Elizabeth
Goldentyer to insist that
Harvard cited for mice deaths
By Brad Petrishen, MetroWestDailyNews.com, Saturday, June 16, 2012
The federal government cited Harvard University in a recent report after 41 mice died of dehydration in one of its research labs.
According to the May 24 report of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, researchers at a university lab in Boston found 11 adult and 30 newborn deer mice dead in their cages on April 15.
The connection between the rack and the water source of the gravity-fed watering system had loosened, the inspector wrote, and the mice died because they didn’t have enough water.
The report says that the university corrected the problem by retraining staff and replacing the gravity system with a new automated watering system.
In a statement, Harvard University spokesman Jeff Neal noted that staff immediately reported the incident to the government. The automatic water system will ensure no future incidents, he said.
“This type of research is critically important for advancing science, and Harvard continues to be committed to the proper treatment and humane care of mice and other animals being used as research subjects,” he wrote.
Michael Budkie, Executive Director of the Ohio-based group Stop Animal Exploitation Now!, disagrees.
“It appears that the level of incompetence at Harvard has not changed, and may be increasing,” wrote Budkie, who sent the USDA a letter asking it to conduct an investigation of all Harvard’s facilities to make sure the food, water and veterinary care systems for animals are adequate.
“Not only can staff not keep the animals in cages, they still seem to be unable to make certain that the animals have water,” he said.
Budkie’s comment referenced an incident at a Harvard Medical School facility in Boston on April 25 in which the USDA reported a rhesus macaque monkey escaped from its cage.
The federal report says that, because staff did not properly secure the latch on its cage, the rhesus monkey escaped and injured another monkey — a pig-tailed macaque — before scampering back into its cage when staff re-entered the room.
The mice deaths occurred at a Harvard University lab, while the monkey escape happened at a Harvard Medical School facility. Both are in Boston.
USDA spokesman Dave Sacks said the latest incidents will be investigated further by his office. The agency is already conducting a separate investigation into five monkey deaths at Harvard Medical School in the last few years, including four at its New England Regional Primate Center in Southborough.
Fines of up to $10,000 per violation of the Animal Welfare Act could follow.
Urged by concerns from residents, Southborough town officials recently toured the center and said they were impressed with the concern for the animals and the processes in place to ensure their safety.
The center’s last four inspections dating back to March 19 have been clean, federal records show.
- Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
- Harvard Fatal Incompetence spreads
from Medical School to University; USDA Report reveals 41 animals dead
due to dehydration caused by Negligence
Return to Media Coverage