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Press Releases

UCSF may have to refund millions in research grant money after watchdog blows whistle on mistreatment of animals

Monday, October 20, 2009
Contact: Michael Budkie, SAEN, 513 703 9865 (cell)

ATTN: Daybook/Assignment Desk

 UCSF may have to refund millions in research grant money after watchdog blows whistle on mistreatment of animals

SAN FRANCISCO -- The University of California, San Francisco may have to refund millions of dollars in federal research grants because of the way it has been treating research animals, said a national watchdog organization today.

A NEWS CONFERENCE to release details will be held WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21, at 10 a.m. at the Club Quarters Hotel (424 Clay St. in the East West Niantic Room). Documentation, including internal and government reports, of UCSF’s violations will be provided.

UCSF, which has been fined nearly $100,000 in recent years for Animal Welfare Act violations, should be required to refund millions in grants, wrote SAEN, a research watchdog based in Ohio, in an appeal to the National Institutes of Health and federal Inspector General.

“The situation at UCSF is grave and has the potential to waste millions in federal funding as well as causing needless suffering to many animals,” wrote Michael Budkie, A.H.T., executive director with SAEN. He will be joined Wednesday by SAEN legal counsel.

Budkie said SAEN uncovered numerous instances of neglect and violation of law, including one where animals awakened during surgery while holes were being drilled in their skulls.

“These violations show an extreme disregard for the well-being of these animals, and since the NIH policy states investigators cannot make changes to grants when they are in violation of the AWA, we are filing a request that the money for these grants and for these specific animals be refunded,” said Budkie.

Additionally, Budkie said there is evidence of a “cover-up” of the violations at UCSF.

If the NIH does not take action, Budkie said SAEN is prepared to file suit to have the taxpayer money recovered.


See: University of California, San Francisco
USDA Inspection Report & Suspension - 24 May 2008
Denial of Appeal of USDA 24 May 2008 Suspension Report
Appeal of USDA 24 May 2008 Suspension Report
Necropsy Report - Primate #V000335
Medical Records - Primate #MMU35184
Animal Use Report - 2008

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