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Press Releases

USDA Confirms University of Washington Probe; Research Watchdog Calls for Independent Investigation of Cover-up

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Contact: Michael Budkie 513-575-5517; 513-703-9865 (cell)

ATTENTION: News Desk

SEATTLE, WA – The United States Department of Agriculture has confirmed that it will investigate a complaint filed by Research Watchdog Organization SAEN. The complaint, filed October 12th, focused on University of Washington researcher Michael Shadlen.

UW internal documents revealed that Shadlen severely deprived macaque monkeys of water, giving one monkey just over a pint of water for an entire week. Several primates in his lab lost over 30% of their body weight during the water deprivation. Shadlen may also be guilty of performing unapproved surgeries, the same offense for which UW researcher Albert Fuchs was cited as a result of a previous SAEN complaint filed one year ago.

"The practice of depriving primates of water is such a cruel practice that it should not be allowed by government regulatory agencies," said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., SAEN's Executive Director. "If a private individual deprived a companion animal of water in this way, they would go to jail."

SAEN has also contacted the office of UW President Mark Emmert, requesting an independent investigation of the conduct of Sue Clausen (UW Associate Vice President, Medical Affairs) and Nona Phillips (Director, UW Office of Animal Welfare).

Internal UW documentation indicates the possibility of a cover-up of UW scientific malfeasance – one official was said to “keep her head in the sand” while being aware that a UW researcher would “have to lie in order to publish.”

"The credibility of the University of Washington is at stake here," said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., SAEN's Executive Director. "Albert Fuchs was clearly involved in violations of federal law, and it appears that UW officials initially wanted to ignore the situation. It is time for some answers.”

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See Facility Reports and Information: University of Washington - Seattle

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