Auburn grad students suspended after administering hazardous drugs to animals
Media Coverage About SAEN Stop Animal Exploitation Now



[email protected]

President Gogue,

The Auburn grad students (and their supervisors) who administered unapproved hazardous drugs to animals, endangering Auburn animal care staff, should never be allowed to work with animals again. The grad students admitted that they usually don't even read the protocols before working with animals. This is not only bad for animals, it is also bad for science, and has endangered Auburn employees! Please take action NOW!


Auburn grad students suspended after administering hazardous drugs to animals

From Lily Jackson,, October 18, 2019

A national animal rights activist group is pushing Auburn University permanently revoke animal privileges from two graduate students who allegedly administered hazardous drugs to multiple animals in the Auburn area during research.

Stop Animal Exploitation Now or SAEN sent a letter of concern to Interium Auburn President Jay Gogue calling for the university to publicly disclose “the species and number of animals used in this project" and to launch an independent investigation into all elements of the graduate students’ research.

“In the rare instance when corrective action is required, we take the necessary steps to prevent similar incidents in the future, and we self-report to the appropriate agency or agencies,” a spokesperson from Auburn University told “As a Carnegie R-1 research institution, Auburn is focused on providing life-saving solutions for the betterment of its community and beyond, with a safe and responsible process always being of paramount concern.”

The letter of concern comes after SAEN came across a federal report of unapproved hazardous drugs being used on animals led to the suspension of four Auburn research staff. The animals were alive when the drugs were administered, according to the report. The suspension suggested by the IACUC, the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, was for no less than six months, but the SAEN says that’s not enough.

“Their actions not only potentially endangered Auburn staff, but may also have rendered multiple scientific projects virtually meaningless,” said Michael A. Budkie, SAEN co-founder, in the letter to Gogue. “They must never be allowed to handle animals again!”
The incidents were submitted to the IACUC on June 6, 2019, and interviews with the graduate students followed. The report states that one of the students had not read the animal protocol and the other student, having actually read the protocol, administered the hazardous drugs to the animals anyway.

“Moreover, there was an apparent lack of concern that they had conducted activities without IACUC approval and had put animal care workers at risk by using unauthorized hazardous agents in an animal care room not approved for safe handling of such drugs,” read the report filed by the IACUC.

This incident comes almost a year after Auburn was elevated to an “R1” institution by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education and almost two years since former University President Steven Leath announced Auburn’s redefined dedication to state, national and world research.

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