University of Wisconsin Negligence Kills 5, Injures 5;Watchdog Group Files Complaint over 13 Federal Violations that Could Cost University $130,000

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URGENT NEWS ADVISORY
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Contact: Michael Budkie, SAEN, 513-703-9865 (cell)

University of Wisconsin Negligence Kills 5, Injures 5;Watchdog Group Files Complaint over 13 Federal Violations that Could Cost University $130,000.

MADISON, WI – A national research watchdog group has filed an official complaint with the USDA against the University of Wisconsin for five negligent animal deaths, five negligent injuries, a primate escape and multiple incidents of failure to provide water, and other animal care issues.

If assessed, penalties could cost the university $130,000.

SAEN, a nonprofit research watchdog based in Ohio, said it has recently obtained federal records about the University of Wisconsin that reveal one primate died in 2013 because of strangulation, and another primate died after developing a pneumothorax during surgery. 

In 2012, a cow fell into an auger channel and died, another primate suffocated when  after being entrapped between a cage and a cage support, and another primate was killed in an unapproved and illegal perfusion procedure.  There were also multiple incidents of traumatic injuries, burn injuries, failure to provide water or pain relief, etc. during both years.

After viewing the files, SAEN filed an official complaint with the USDA recounting 13 separate incidents over the course of 18 months.  The complaint requests the maximum penalty be imposed in the UW, a fine of up to $10,000 per infraction.  If each incident draws only one citation, the penalty could be as high as $130,000.

The current complaint follows an existing USDA case, #WI10033, against the UW which includes dozens of federal violations.  The USDA has also recently cited the UW for one incident involving a thermal injury to a cat as well as second non-compliance relevant to a sheep surgical death.

"Negligence at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, regularly kills and injures animals of many species," said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, SAEN.  “This lab deserves a serious penalty."

"The UW non-compliances with both the Animal Welfare Act and PHS funding policy not only endanger animals, but also potentially waste millions of tax dollars," added Budkie.  "If this lab is incapable of insuring that the monkeys have water and aren't dying of strangulation or suffocation, why should we believe they can do anything that even roughly resembles science?"

All federal reports are available upon request.

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