USDA responds to animal abuse allegations against GRU

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Please contact the USDA to insist that Georgia Regents University receive the largest fine allowable under the Animal Welfare Act for the negligence which caused the deaths of a pig and denied food to monkeys.

Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer, Director, USDA, Eastern Region
920 Main Campus Drive, Suite 2000
Raleigh, NC 27606
[email protected]
[email protected]

USDA responds to animal abuse allegations against GRU

USDA responds to animal abuse allegations against GRU

By Katy Solt, FOX6WRBC, Monday, March 30, 2015 

New developments into animal abuse allegations against Georgia Regent's University.
The USDA responded to allegations made by the Animal Right's activist group Stop Animal Exploitation Now after they say they filed an official complaint Thursday.
Tanya Espinosa with USDA said there is not an active investigation open against GRU.

Michael Budkie, the executive director of SAEN, said they submitted a letter to the USDA Thursday asking for an immediate investigation into the school. This comes after inspection reports from February 2015 cite the school for using expired medical supplies, improper record keeping and the unexpected death of a pig after a surgical procedure.

Espinosa said in order for an investigation to even be opened, there needs to be animal welfare act violations, and in some cases if the issue has been addressed in a previous investigation, a new case may not be opened.

"If the facility receives repeat non-compliance, then we may look at taking additional steps such as opening an investigation, which can lead to enforcement actions depending on their enforcement history, depending on the types of non-compliances they receive," said Espinosa."We kind of look at a series of things when we determine whether or not to open an investigation.

SAEN is asking the USDA to issue the maximum penalty against GRU for what they say is a repeated negligence to the animals. Espinosa said the maximum penalty is $10,000 per non-compliance per animal.

Budkie said although the school has fixed problems from inspections in the past, there needs to be more severe action taken.

"This demonstrates that there is an ongoing pattern of disregard for the Animal Welfare Act because it clearly was not a one time occurrence," he said. "They need to stop making light of what are serious violations and begin to look in the direction of moving away from using animals, because apparently their staff is not competent or qualified to take care of these animals in accordance to the federal regulations."

GRU did issue a statement about the allegationsThursdayy, part of it said "An internal review following the preliminary USDA reports also found no instances of negligence affecting animal welfare at any university research facilities. GRU will continue to pursue the highest standards of animal care in medical and scientific research that is lessening the burden of disease on society and improving patient lives. "

We will continue to update you on this story as we receive any new details.

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