Letter of Complaint to USDA About Southern Research Institute

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


3/4/11

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

Dr. Goldentyer,

I am contacting you today regarding animal care at the Southern Research Institute (64-R-0001). In response to our complaint which was filed in December of 2010, your staff conducted an investigation of SRI on January 20, 2011.

This investigation not only confirmed the negligent death of a primate which SAEN disclosed to you, but also uncovered the equally negligent deaths of two ferrets, and the potentially life-threatening hyperthermia which affected two other ferrets. Apparently these four animals were left inside a transport cage which allowed them to become severely overheated, resulting in two deaths. The SRI facility was cited by the USDA inspector under section 2.38 of the regulations, for improper handing of animals.

It is clear from these two incidents of negligence that the staff of SRI has an entirely inappropriate and utterly slipshod attitude about the lives of the animals which are in their care. Attitudes such as this potentially endanger the lives of all the animals at SRI. Additionally, while the extrapolation of all animal experimentation data to humans is questionable at best, when the experimentation is conducted in a facility that is so utterly careless and negligent as to allow the kind of deaths that have taken place at SRI, the possibility that anything which even remotely resembles science can be conducted at such a facility is virtually non-existent.

Such utter carelessness must not be allowed to go unpunished. Therefore, I must insist that you initiate proceedings to issue the largest possible fine allowable by law against the Southern Research Institute. This facility has illustrated a total disrespect for the law, for the lives of animals, and for the USDA. Therefore, they deserve the most severe penalty allowable by law. In this instance, I believe that the fine could be assessed at a maximum of $50,000, or $10,000 per violation per animal. I must state very firmly that I believe that such clear and fatal negligence is deserving of the most extreme penalty possible under the Animal Welfare Act.

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

Sincerely,

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


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