Animal deaths, injuries at UCD labs focus of complaint
Media Coverage About SAEN Stop Animal Exploitation Now



Dr. Robert Gibbens Director, Western Region, USDA
(970) 494-7478
[email protected] 
[email protected] 


Please LEVY a MAXIMUM FINE against University of California, Davis, for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) when their negligence killed two rabbits and a cat and injured several monkeys, and dogs. Their behavior must NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.


Animal deaths, injuries at UCD labs focus of complaint
By Tanya Perez,, April 23, 2018

An animal-rights group denounced UC Davis after incident reports by the university indicated that a cat, monkey and two rabbits died, and a monkey and two dogs were injured.

A UCD summary of the incident, dated Nov. 30, 2017, reported that a cat died after “becoming caught in the fencing” of an enclosure.

In another report from the university dated Sept. 1, 2017, a rabbit died due to an “air embolism” that was the result of an injection; and another was euthanized after it broke its leg, following a jump to the floor during a nail trimming procedure, according to a report dated Sept. 25, 2017.

Injuries were sustained by two dogs when a fight broke out in August; in August 2016, according to a USDA report, two macaque monkeys were injured — one to the point of needing to be euthanized — when an enclosure was left open.

Stop Animal Exploitation Now, an Ohio-based nonprofit that monitors U.S. research facilities for violations of law and animal abuse, is calling for UCD to receive “the maximum penalty.” SAEN’s executive director, Michael Budkie said, “UCD staff is so incompetent that they can’t cut a rabbit’s nails without it resulting in death, or safely release a monkey into the correct enclosure, or perform other routine procedures without injuring or killing animals.”

The university, meanwhile, defended its animal-handling practices.

UCD spokesman Andy Fell said that “The incidents described were self-reported to the USDA and already investigated by their Veterinary Medical Officers.”

Fell said the USDA’s report found only one non-compliant item after its inspection in Feb. 2018, and none in 2017. “Our goal is to provide the best possible care to animals in our charge. Incidents such as these are rare and regrettable, but if and when they occur we investigate and take steps to prevent a recurrence,” he said.

SAEN has filed an official complaint with the USDA, calling for multiple non-compliances to be issued against UCD, and is also calling for a larger investigation which could result in a federal fine of $10,000 per infraction/per animal. The complaint alleges improper animal handling, unqualified personnel and inadequate veterinary care. The complaint, which includes UCD’s internal reports, is available at

Fell further explained, “Oversight of animal use is heavily regulated by multiple sources. All research studies at the university involving animals require approval by the campus’ Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee” as well as the USDA, National Institutes of Health Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, and the International Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, an independent nonprofit organization. 

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