Purdue accused of violating animal welfare act for death of pig and hamsters
Media Coverage About SAEN Stop Animal Exploitation Now



Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer
Director, USDA, Eastern Region
(919) 855-7100
[email protected] 
[email protected] 


Please LEVY a MAXIMUM FINE against Purdue University for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) when their negligence killed a pig and 15 hasters. This behavior must NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.


Purdue accused of violating animal welfare act for death of pig and hamsters
By Mateo Menchaca, PurdueExponent.org, September 28, 2017 ~ Purdue accused of violating animal welfare act for death of pig and hamsters - 28 Sep 2017

On Monday, the executive director of Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! has filed a complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture against Purdue University for violating the Animal Welfare Act for both the death of a pig and hamsters.

Purdue spokesperson Jim Bush released this statement:

“The university regrets these incidents occurred and is committed to the well-being and humane care of any animals involved in research as they play a critical role in advancing scientific discoveries that benefit human and animal health. Purdue was fully transparent in reporting the procedural violations, and our internal Animal Care and Use Committee took appropriate steps to ensure there would be no recurrence of similar incidents. With regard to the incidents in question, the NIH’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare issued its determination that it concurred with the measure put in place by Purdue and those measures were consistent with the Public Health Service policy related to the humane care and use of laboratory animals.”

As the statement says, OLAW has stated that Purdue University was consistent in their service policy and dealt with the laboratory animals humanely. SAEN’s complaint was with the USDA.

The organization has a track record of filing complaints with the USDA that result in fines for universities. According to their website they revealed severe abuses within the laboratories of Michigan State University, University of Southern California, University of Washington, Stolle Research and Development, University of South Florida, University of Pennsylvania and the University of Toledo.

“The USDA fined several of these laboratories, and abusive primate experiments were terminated subsequent to the SAEN news conference,” the website said.

There were two separate incidents that led to the complaint filed by the SAEN on Monday; both were discovered by public reports form the Purdue Animal Care and Use Committee to OLAW.

The most recent report described the death of a pig on May 11. A Purdue research group performed surgery on a pig’s throat; more specifically, they intended to place a pharyngeal tube in the pig. In order to do this, the group had to insert a lighted scope camera inside the pig to make sure the tube was in place.

“It was reported there was difficulty getting the scope past the inflated cuff on the endotracheal tube (the pig’s windpipe),” the report said. “The research group removed the endotracheal tube and then replaced the scope to continue to work on the placement of the pharyngeal tube.”

The researchers occasionally flushed the scope camera with fluids so the image remained clear. As the operation progressed, they realized the pig had stopped breathing and despite attempts to save the animal, the pig died.

“Since the animal was on its back and there was no endotracheal tube in place (windpipe), it was determined that the probable cause of death was fluid in the lungs from the flushing of the scope.”

The group adjusted their methods and “subsequent swine underwent the procedure that same day and no other deaths occurred,” the report said.

The other incident the SAEN filed a complaint for involved the death of hamsters on July 31 and later on Aug. 6.

In a report from the Animal Care and Use Committee to the OLAW, hamsters were used as experimental subjects for “repurposing auranofin and ebselen for treatment of multidrug resistant pathogens,” the report said.

On July 28, 10 of 40 hamsters were injected with a drug for research.

The next day “a total of eight hamsters were found dead in their cages,” the report said. “The other two infected hamsters were euthanized to avoid decline in health.”

The primary investigator reviewed the established model for hamster research and saw that mortality is expected when hamsters are infected with the drug C. difficile. After this, it was agreed upon that the specific drug would not be given to hamsters.

On Aug. 6, three more hamsters were found dead and two hamsters were found sick. The primary investigator contacted the Laboratory Animal Veterinarian on call and requested a health check.

“After discussion with (the veterinarian), it was decided to euthanize all remaining hamsters to avoid any future decline in health of the animals,” the report said.

At the time of Aug. 22, the exact reasons why the three hamsters died is unknown, but the primary investigator “indicated he will submit an amendment to change his protocol to minimize any adverse events in the future,” the report said.

These are the two incidents that have led Michael Budkie, the founder and executive director of SAEN, to file the complaint against the University.

“I must insist that your office open a case against Purdue University and launch an investigation of these non-compliances immediately,” the complaint said. “At the conclusion of your investigation you must institute the largest fine allowable against Purdue University, $10,000 per infraction/per animal.”

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