Sheep & Cow Torture at the Texas Heart Institute
As our investigations of all laboratories in the U.S. continue, we
often find major violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) within
laboratories that are household names like Harvard, Michigan State,
UCLA, etc. However, we do not let any labs pass by without serious
scrutiny. And since we believe that ALL animals are sacred, we work to
defend their rights whether they are rats, mice, dogs, cats, monkeys,
rabbits, sheep, or cows.
One laboratory that is not nationally known for animal research is
the Texas Heart Institute (THI). But, anonymity does not protect
offending laboratories from our in-depth scrutiny. USDA inspection
reports disclose a three year history of major violations at THI.
In 2005, this facility was cited by the USDA for violations committed
by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and for
unqualified personnel who performed surgeries without proper sterile
technique. During the same inspection, this facility was also cited
three times for inadequate veterinary care. These violations referred to
“. . . one animal seized, stopped breathing, and died prior to
In 2006, THI was again cited for violations committed by the IACUC
and for inadequate veterinary care. One citation depicted a horrifying
“. . . one calf showed multiple signs of distress and discomfort such
as flared nostrils, excessive salivation, open mouth breathing
(panting), pale tongue, splayed front limbs, and abdominal breathing.
This particular calf was restrained in this manner for 7 days prior to
In 2007, THI repeated its pattern of criminal
activity by again being cited for multiple AWA violations committed
by the IACUC and for inadequate watering. One of these violations
“Euthanasia is performed by removal of the sheep heart . . . this is
not an approved method of euthanasia.”
USDA inspections of the Texas Heart Institute have documented other
violations, such as a sheep restrained in an unapproved “head catch”
method, use of expired medical equipment and drugs, unacceptable
veterinary practices, contaminated water, and surgical procedures being
performed by untrained staff. Overall, this facility violated federal
law 16 times in a period of 3 years.
SAEN’s tireless investigations have shined the spotlight on the Texas
Heart Institute bringing them out of the shadows by exposing all of the
sordid details about THI to the news media of Houston, TX. Our dramatic
media events have blown the lid off of this scandal, revealing the truth
to hundreds of thousands of people.