University of Texas, Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, TX

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University of Texas, Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, TX
Letter of Complaint to USDA - 17 May 2012


May 17, 2012

1081-B St. Rt. 28 #280
Milford, Ohio 45150

Dr. Robert Gibbens
Director, Western Region
2150 Center Ave.
Building B, Mailstop 3W11
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117
Dr. Gibbens,
I am contacting you today because I am outraged by the repeated incidents of serious and fatal violations at the University of Texas, Galveston (UTXG).  Negligence at this facility previously killed a dog and a goat and has now taken the life of a marmoset and potentially poisoned a ferret.  Improper care has also caused many animals to experience severe pain unnecessarily due to improper use of post-surgical pain relief.

 An April 16, 2012, USDA report cites the University of Texas, Galveston, for the death of a marmoset and for inadequate veterinary care regarding ferrets and sheep.  At least one of the ferrets may have been exposed to roach bait.

A 2011 USDA inspection report for UTXG reveals the negligent deaths of a dog and a goat, as well as other infractions effecting ferrets and sheep.  The lab is repeatedly cited for inadequate veterinary care.

In this report UTXG is cited for an incident involving a goat who died during a surgical procedure without adequate monitoring of anesthesia.  UTXG is also cited for the death of a dog whose illness was reported to veterinary staff but never treated.  This dog suffered for six days without veterinary treatment, even though the situation had been reported to veterinary staff.  This is simply inexcusable.

At any time when negligence unnecessarily kills an animal the situation must be considered to be extremely serious and deserving of major penalties.  Repeated incidents of fatal carelessness must not be tolerated.

Therefore, I must insist that you immediately institute proceedings against the University of Texas, Galveston to levy a major fine against this intractable lab.

I expect that your office will reply to this correspondence within five business days.

Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T.,
Executive Director, SAEN

Attachments: USDA Inspection Report
CC: Office of the Inspector General

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Rats, mice, birds, amphibians and other animals have been excluded from coverage by the Animal Welfare Act. Therefore research facility reports do not include these animals. As a result of this situation, a blank report, or one with few animals listed, does not mean that a facility has not performed experiments on non-reportable animals. A blank form does mean that the facility in question has not used covered animals (primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, pigs, sheep, goats, etc.). Rats and mice alone are believed to comprise over 90% of the animals used in experimentation. Therefore the majority of animals used at research facilities are not even counted.

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