Report documents new animal violations at IU
Media Coverage About SAEN Stop Animal Exploitation Now



Dr. Jay L. Hess, Dean,
Indiana University School of Medicine
email: [email protected] 

Dean Hess,

Indiana University School of Medicine negligence has now killed over 120 animals due to starvation/dehydration, drowning, suffocation, botched medical procedures, etc. In addition to these deaths, there were multiple incidents in which animals were denied adequate pain relief. euthanized improperly using cervical dislocation without anesthesia, severely dehydrated, etc. This carelessness must not be tolerated. You must launch an internal investigation of all Indiana University School of Medicine animal experimentation and terminate all responsible lab staff.

Report documents new animal violations at IU
By Michael Reschke, Herald Times Online, July 25, 2018

An animal rights group says three noncompliance reports from January show Indiana University is not serious about caring for rats and mice in its labs. The reports document, among other things, the death of four rats as a result of food and water deprivation.

Employees who forgot to feed mice were among the violations included in a batch of 17 noncompliance reports IU submitted to the National Institutes of Health's Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare from April 2016 to October 2017.

The Ohio-based Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! or SAEN, shared the earlier reports with media outlets in May. At the time, IU released a statement saying all cited incidents were self-reported, demonstrating diligence in monitoring and that the university took corrective action when necessary. Michael Budkie, executive director of SAEN, said this week the reports from January show IU was not sincere.

"Those statements about monitoring animals and trying to correct the problems were clearly nothing more than public relations," he said. "Because if IU had done anything meaningful as those incidents occurred, then there would have been no new reports to find."

IU spokesman Chuck Carney confirmed the reports are legitimate and were obtained through public record requests. On Tuesday he again stressed that each violation was self-reported and that the university takes the incidents seriously.

"Anytime an accident like this happens, it spurs an action in our labs to make sure these processes get better," Carney said. "Would I say that it is perfect right now? No, but it's something we're constantly working on."

The reports from January show 19 rats were found without food and 14 rats were found without water in IU School of Medicine labs. None of those rats died, but four other rats did when an incorrectly docked cage prevented them from accessing food and water. The staff member responsible for the four deaths has had other performance issues in the past and was referred to IU Human Resources, according to one of the reports.

Violations cited in the third report from January included unapproved ear notching and toe clipping on adult mice. Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee members were "very concerned with the magnitude" of those violations and requested all individuals responsible retake relevant training courses. The training has been completed, according to the report.

Budkie said the animal rights group has seen no action on any of the demands it made in May, which included IU reimbursing the National Institutes of Health and firing employees responsible for the deaths of 116 rats and mice. It also called for an independent investigation, suggesting the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare's approval of IU's corrective actions was insufficient.

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