Complaints filed against WSU bear research center
Media Coverage About SAEN Stop Animal Exploitation Now

ACTION ALERT:

Contact the USDA to Demand a Maximum FINE against Washington State University:

Dr. Robert Gibbens
Director, Western Region, USDA
(970) 494-7478
Robert.M.Gibbens@aphis.usda.gov 
acwest@aphis.usda.gov

SAMPLE MESSAGE:

Please levy the MAXIMUM FINE against Washington State University for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act when their negligence killed bears and sheep. Their negligence in allowing staff to fatally overdose bighorn sheep and also in allowing bears to become seriously debilitated should NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

 

Complaints filed against WSU bear research center
By Whitney Ward, KREM, June 3, 3016

The Washington State University Bear Center has been under fire after two yearling bear cubs died when they did not go into full hibernation.

By the time it was discovered, the two bears were practically starved and in such poor condition, they had to be euthanized.

It has been five years since the pair of year-old cubs had to be put down, but WSU is still paying the price.

A USDA inspection report completed last month details at least five findings of problems with the university’s animal research areas, including the bear center.

“We’re going to stay true to the course of the actions that we started on when we realized that some concerns had been raised about the bear center,” said Dr. Kim Kidwell, Dean of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences.

The USDA’s report shows how the two cubs were placed in hibernation dens in the fall of 2010, but never fully went into hibernation.

The document also details an incident that the complaint called “epic incompetence.” It was reported in March of this year.

Three bighorn sheep at WSU were given 50 times the correct dose of a steroid hormone for three days in a row.

There were reportedly no negative effects to the animals, but the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee did open an investigation.

The investigation revealed several other findings that include a rabbit with an injury to its nose, a bent dog kennel and a rusted sheep feeder that the inspector said could pose a risk of injury to the animals.

The USDA asked that repairs and corrections be made within 30 days and also noted that standard operating procedure at the bear center have been changed since the yearlings died to keep the grizzlies safer.

“We’ve had a lot of conversations about things we can do, and that we want to do better. So, I’m confident that today, we’re doing a better job than we’ve ever done at maintain a high quality of care for our bears,” said Kidwell.

Despite those assurances, though, animal activists said this kind of fatal negligence and incompetence clearly deserves to be severely punished.

The organization Stop Animal Exploitation Now filed a complaint against the bear center. The director of the group said he is asking for maximum penalties for the infractions, which could be up to $10,000 per animal, per violation.

It is now up to the USDA on how it will proceed from there.

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