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
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
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.