M P I Research, L.L.C., Mattawan, MI

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M P I Research, L.L.C., Mattawan, MI
Complaint to Inspector General - 8 May 2012

See PDF

5/8/12

FROM SAEN:
1081-B St. Rt. 28 #280
Milford, Ohio 45150
513-575-5517
www.saenonline.org        

TO:  
Phyllis K. Fong,
Inspector General, USDA/OIG
P.O. BOX 23399
Washington, DC 20026-3399

Inspector General Fong,
 
I am contacting you today relevant to the conduct of the Eastern Regional Office of USDA/APHIS/AC.  I believe that this office’s lax enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act has directly contributed to the continuation of a string of negligent deaths which have occurred at the MPI Research facility (34-R-0031). 

 As you may know, this facility has recently had a string of negligent animal deaths which has taken the lives of at least six animals.  All of these animals have died in connection to traumatic injuries.  An inspection report dated 8-23-11 listed four animals which had previously received traumatic injuries and were subsequently euthanized, and a recent inspection report dated 4-10-12 lists two primates which were also euthanized after receiving traumatic injuries.  While it is clear that the staff of MPI Research is incapable of handling animals properly, I do not believe that they are solely to blame.

 As you know, your office completed an audit of the Animal Care Division of the USDA relevant to enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act several years ago, and that audit report stated:

AC’s Eastern Region is not aggressively pursuing enforcement actions against violators of the AWA.2 We found that regional management significantly reduced its referrals of suspected violators to IES from an average of 209 cases in fiscal years (FYs) 2002-2003 to 82 cases in FY 2004. During this same period, regional management declined to take action against 126 of 475 violators that had been referred to IES.3 In contrast, the Western Region declined action against 18 of 439 violators.
 
This OIG audit report clearly recognized that the USDA/APHIS/AC’s Eastern Regional Office is not adequately enforcing the law.  It is clear from the incidents which have occurred at MPI Research that this situation has not changed in any meaningful way.

 The initial incident which launched this string of negligent deaths at MPI Research could have been handled much more expeditiously, and a fine could have been issued.  I feel that if this situation had been addressed more quickly and with a severe penalty, that the injuries sustained by these two primates which led to their deaths could have been prevented.  Therefore, I believe that the inaction of the USDA/APHIS/AC’s Eastern Regional Office in this matter is at least partially to blame for the deaths of these animals.

 Therefore, I officially request that the Office of the Inspector General immediately initiate an audit of the USDA/APHIS/AC Eastern Regional Office relevant to enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act regarding laboratories, and especially the case of the MPI Research facility.
 
Sincerely,

Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T.,
Executive Director, SAEN 
 
Attachments:  MPI Research Inspection Reports, IES printout, etc. 

See also:

Rats, mice, birds, amphibians and other animals have been excluded from coverage by the Animal Welfare Act. Therefore research facility reports do not include these animals. As a result of this situation, a blank report, or one with few animals listed, does not mean that a facility has not performed experiments on non-reportable animals. A blank form does mean that the facility in question has not used covered animals (primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, pigs, sheep, goats, etc.). Rats and mice alone are believed to comprise over 90% of the animals used in experimentation. Therefore the majority of animals used at research facilities are not even counted.

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