Guinea pig, rabbit deaths at UC Davis research labs draw criticism
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 a rabbit and a guinea pig. Their behavior must NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.


Guinea pig, rabbit deaths at UC Davis research labs draw criticism
From Steve Rubenstein,, September 4, 2018

A guinea pig and a rabbit inadvertently killed in UC Davis research laboratories are at the center of a new complaint from an animal rights foundation seeking to end the use of animals in lab research.

In the complaint dated Monday and sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Ohio-based group Stop Animal Exploitation Now said UC Davis researchers were negligent in allowing the two deaths and called on regulators to take “meaningful action against this lawbreaking lab.”

The guinea pig died in February when it fell five feet from an elevated cage. The rabbit died in 2017 when an intravenous valve was used improperly.

“We strive to conduct humane and proper research, and we try to learn from it,” said UC Davis spokesman Andy Fell.

The dead animals were among hundreds of thousands of lab animals at the Davis campus used for research. They include 400,000 fish, 135,000 mice, 4,000 primates, 200 rabbits and 25 guinea pigs, Fell said.

Michael Budkie, the executive director of the animals rights group, said the deaths are part of a “multi-year pattern of fatal negligence” and said such incidents call into question all work done by campus scientists.

The most recent complaints follow 13 reported infractions of animal care policy at UC Davis recorded from 2014 to 2016 by USDA inspectors. In 2016, UC Davis acknowledged and paid a $5,000 fine in connection with the death of another laboratory rabbit killed through an anesthesia error.

“If they can’t perform a basic procedure without killing an animal, how can we believe their research at all?” Budkie said.

In the two more recent cases, Fell said, the lab technician involved in the guinea pig death had received additional training and the lab protocol that led to the rabbit’s death had been revised.

Fell said animal research at UC Davis is done safely and conscientiously, and that mistakes are rare.

“We do animal research because of its benefit to human health,” he said. “It’s strictly regulated and humanely conducted.”

Budkie and his group have called for an end to all research involving lab animals.

“Animal research is old technology,” he said. “There are other methods. 

See also:

Return to Media Coverage