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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

Press Releases

USDA Files False Report With Congress Regarding Laboratory Animal Use, Says Watchdog Group

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 16, 2003
Contact(s): Michael Budkie/SAEN (513) 575-5517

USDA Files False Report With Congress Regarding Laboratory Animal Use, Says Watchdog Group

CINCINNATI The Secretary of Agriculture has filed a false and misleading report with Congress regarding the use of laboratory animals which suggests more abuse of research animals, charged a national research watchdog organization here.

Stop Animal Exploitation NOW (SAEN) claims the Animal Welfare Enforcement Report (AWER) filed with Congress in late 2002 is "fraught with errors," and could understate the number of primates used in research by as much as 27 percent.

"The compilation of such a shoddy report raises serious questions about the ability of the USDA to enforce the Animal Welfare Act. We want to know why the report was falsified, and why changes were not made until we contacted the USDA," said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director of Cincinnati-based SAEN.

The AWER is compiled annually by the United States Department of Agriculture/Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS) to report on agency activities regarding enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act. One main focus of the report is the compilation of statistics regarding animal experimentation.

"It was readily apparent that the statistics for primate use in experimentation were significantly flawed," said Mr. Budkie. "Either the primate numbers contained in this report were wrong, or several research facilities which were receiving government funding had closed their doors during 2002, which is not the case."

"The corrections made so far by the USDA indicate an error involving about 5,500 primates in the totals for 8 states," said Mr. Budkie. "We believe that there are still substantial errors in the report, and we will continue to investigate."

"The reporting process needs to be overhauled, with stiff penalties added for late filings and errant reports by facilities," added Mr. Budkie.

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