Texas research labs blamed in 16 negligent animal deaths

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http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Texas-research-labs-blamed-in-16-negligent-animal-5125001.php

Texas research labs blamed in 16 negligent animal deaths

By Carol Christian, CHRON.com, Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Six Texas research laboratories, including two in Houston and one in Galveston, accounted for 16 negligent animal deaths last year, an animal rights group reported Wednesday.
 
Eight of the deaths involved primates at a facility in the south Texas town of Alice, according to information from Stop Animal Exploitation Now!, a research watchdog group based in Ohio.
 
The Alice facility is owned by SNBL, an international company whose U.S. headquarters is in Everett, Wash.
 
According to a July inspection report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, provided by the animal rights group, three adult female and three juvenile pigtail macaques "suffered trauma to such a degree that it resulted in death."
 
Some of the deaths had been in the prior two years but two were in the previous month, the report stated.
 
Records also showed that two pigtail macaques died of hyperthermia, or heat stress, related to capture, the USDA report stated.
 
Other deaths noted by the animal rights group included three rabbits at Baylor College of Dentistry/Texas A&M University, Dallas; two primates at Texas Biomedical Research Institute, San Antonio; one goat, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston; one pig, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston; and one rabbit, University of Houston.
 
An agriculture department inspection report from M.D. Anderson stated that the pig was found dead March 20 in an enclosure.
 
The animal died during the night after getting its head caught under a section of grating over an exposed drain trough, the report stated.
 
The pig had escaped from its primary enclosure and entered an adjoining enclosure, where part of the floor over the drain trough was removed, the report stated.
 
"The facility has addressed preventative measures to prevent future incidents including: training of staff on new procedures and policies involving drains, flooring and enclosure security," the report stated.
 
In December, Stop Animal Exploitation Now! filed a complaint with the agriculture department against the University of Houston over a rabbit death and deprivation of water to monkeys.
 
At the time, the university said in a statement that it follows USDA rules for animal research.
 
"This requires that every protocol involving animal research is approved by the University of Houston Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee," the statement said in part.
 
The primary function of the 14-member committee, which includes 11 scientists and three nonscientists, is to ensure compliance with all regulations, policies and standards for using animals in research, the statement continued.
 
The University of Houston is also accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, the statement said. 

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