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Press Releases

Federal Violations Mounting at Texas Heart Institute; Watchdog Organization Calls for Stiff Fines

For Immediate Release
Monday, May 5, 2008
Contact: Michael Budkie 513-575-5517; 513-703-9865 (cell)

Federal Violations Mounting at Texas Heart Institute; Watchdog Organization Calls for Stiff Fines

Houston, TX – SAEN, a national research watchdog organization, has learned that the Texas Heart Institute (THI) violated federal law fifteen times in the last several years, and has contacted regulatory agencies to demand immediate regulatory action.

The violations include use of unqualified personnel, failure to follow aseptic surgical technique, inadequate veterinary care, inappropriate euthanasia methods, and the performance of unapproved research protocols.

“The staff of the Texas Heart Institute apparently believes that their facility is above the law,” said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., SAEN’s Executive Director. “These infractions should not go unpunished.”

Incidents recounted in the USDA inspection reports for THI include cutting the heart out of a still-living sheep as a method of euthanasia, inappropriate 10-day confinement, unjustified postponement of euthanasia, and the contamination of water supply for animals with fecal material.

SAEN has demanded that the USDA immediately issue a major fine against CRL for violations at THI. Dr. Robert Gibbens, Director of the USDA/APHIS/AC’s Western Region has been contact.

“The treatment of animals at this facility illustrates attitudes of carelessness and contempt for regulations that must be punished so that meaningful changes can be made,” Budkie added.

All government reports relevant to the Texas Heart Institute are available upon request.  


See: Texas Heart Institute, Houston, TX for more information
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