Letter of Complaint to USDA About SRI Research Facility

Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"
USDA Complaints


12/9/10

Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer
USDA/APHIS/AC
920 Main Campus Drive, Suite 2000
Raleigh, NC 27606

Dr. Goldentyer,

I am contacting you today because I am very concerned about the level of animal care at the Southern Research Institute (64-R-0001). This facility has had several recent incidents of negligence which have unnecessarily killed animals. Potentially the most disturbing part of this is that these incidents of negligence have apparently not been addressed by USDA/APHIS/AC in terms of inspections or enforcement, despite the fact that this information has been in the hands of your office for over a year.

According to the Annual report filed by the Southern Research Institute in November of 2009, there were several incidents involving potentially negligent deaths of primates. One incident involved the death of a primate whose head had become caught in a cage. How long did this animal suffer this way? Did he/she starve to death or die of dehydration? Was it some injury caused by the entrapment? These issues are not addressed in any way.

The same report discusses the death of a primate following blood collection. This incident is not attributed to disease, injury, etc. Did the monkey simply bleed to death? Was air introduced into the bloodstream? These issues are not addressed.

A third monkey was found dead the morning after administration of a test article. While the report discusses the potential toxicity of the test article, this totally ignores the possibility that the animal was dosed improperly, and that the cause of was therefore negligence.

Similarly, the report states that “2 cotton rats were found dead. Mortality did not appear to be directly related to use of the test article or any procedure conducted during the study.” In other words, the staff of this facility have no idea whatsoever what took the lives of these animals.

The incidents related in the annual report of this facility clearly indicate potential incidents of negligence which may have violated at least three portions of the Animal Welfare Act (code cited below): 2.131 Handling of animals, 2.32 Personnel Qualifications, and 2.33 Attending Veterinarian and adequate veterinary care. If animals are dying after blood collection this indicates potentially unqualified personnel, if they are being found dead with the head stuck in a cage, or simply found dead with no idea as to the possible cause, then this is clearly a situation of inadequate observation of animals and therefore inadequate veterinary care, etc.

Therefore, in light of these many issues which clearly demonstrate major problems within both animal care and accountability at the Southern Research Institute, I officially request that you immediately commission an investigation of all of these incidents at Southern Research Institute.

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

Sincerely,

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


We welcome your comments and questions