World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week

World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week is the week that surrounds April 24th every year - It's a national week of protests, media events, etc. at laboratories to stop testing and research on animals

Media Coverage

Protest today in Fort Collins over death of kitten in a CSU research facility

From The Coloradoan
By Trevor Hughes

Animal-rights activists are planning to protest CSU today over the accidental death of a kitten in a research lab last year.

The kitten's death was noted in a federal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service report conducted last January, but drew no fines or citations.

Colorado State University officials say the kitten apparently got tangled in a ripped or torn blanket or towel being used for bedding in its cage and accidentally strangled itself.

The anti-animal testing group Stop Animal Exploitation Now is organizing today's protest, set to start at 11:45 a.m. at the intersection of College and Laurel.

"If the staff at the CSU canít even be trusted to keep cats alive in their cages, do you want to trust your life to drugs and treatments tested in this facility?" said Michael A. Budkie, SAEN's executive director, in a statement announcing the protest. "If they canít even do basic animal care, then should anyone trust their research findings?"

SAEN first publicized the kitten's death in January 2010. At that time, CSU officials said they had changed their practices to eliminate the danger.

"This animal's death was a highly unusual circumstance. Additional training was put in place for towel and bedding inspection, and new protocol was developed to avoid such an unfortunate situation in the future. USDA did document the incident, but no fines or sanctions were put in place against the university," the statement said.

The APHIS report also noted two other violations, one instance where a researcher was found repeatedly violating research protocols and another where a CSU researcher admitted to leaving the key to a secure building outside so people considering adopting research dogs could come inside when they wanted. That researcher also lost control of a dog that escaped overnight, according to university records.

In the case of the escaped dog, CSU officials said the dog was recovered without harm, and policies were changed to help prevent a repeat occurrence. In meeting minutes provided by the university, members of CSU's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee called the researcher's actions "irresponsible" and "showed a lack of understanding about the seriousness" of treating animals well and following university protocol.

Again, the USDA cited the university but levied no fines or penalties.

The third incident, regarding the unauthorized experiments, remains under investigation, the university said. Neither the USDA nor the university disclosed the nature of the experiments being conducted.

"The incident refers to a researcher who deviated from a protocol in how animals were handled. The protocol had been previously approved for a project by the USDA," university officials said earlier this year. "The university is continuing to work closely with the USDA and is committed to taking all appropriate measures to address the issue.".

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