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Press Releases

University of Pennsylvania Leads Nation in Violations of Federal Law, Says Research Watchdog Group

Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Contact: Michael Budkie (513) 575-5517; (513) 703-9865 (cell)

PHILADELPHIA – SAEN, a national research watchdog organization, has labeled the University of Pennsylvania (UPA) as the most prolific lawbreaker in the United States for violating the Animal Welfare Act 77 times during a period of 9 months.

Recently-obtained USDA inspection reports cite UPA for a total of 77 Animal Welfare Act violations in the areas of veterinary care, environmental enhancement for primates, unqualified personnel, and institutional animal care and use committees.

“This is the highest violation total I have ever seen,” said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., SAEN’s Executive Director. “This is equivalent to the University of Pennsylvania breaking federal law twice every week.”

USDA documents reveal non-compliances effecting dogs, kittens, rabbits, guinea pigs, sheep, and primates. Improper surgical procedures, expired drugs, failure to follow experimental protocols, failure to report illnesses in animals, improper administration of pain relievers, and the use of paralytic drugs without prior administration of anesthesia are all listed within recent inspections.

USDA records reveal that sheep #534 suffered from fever, inappetence and abdominal bloat following surgery. Veterinary staff was not notified, and on the 5th day following surgery this sheep was found dead.

“The University of Pennsylvania has exhibited a total disregard for science, human safety, and animal care,” added Budkie. “Federal funding for all experimentation at this facility should be suspended immediately to insure that the University of Pennsylvania is brought into compliance with federal laws.”

Copies of the government reports are available upon request.


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