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USDA Complaints

Letter to USDA regarding substantial violations of the Animal Welfare Act at NDSU

1081-B St. Rt. 28 PMB 280
Milford, Ohio 45150

Dr. Robert Gibbens, Director       4/24/08
USDA/APHIS/AC 2150 Centre Ave. Building B,
Mailstop 3W11 Fort Collins, CO

Dr. Gibbens,

I am contacting you today because I have obtained new inadequate veterinary care for sheep and substantial violations of the Animal Welfare Act at North Dakota State University. I believe very strongly that these violations are extremely serious and that they should result in a substantial fine.

Two 1 month old sheep at NDSU developed serious conditions. #7201 developed an umbilical infection which progressed into an abscess, while #7002 had a very prominent internal abscess. Sheep 38A had a bacterial septicemia. Sheep #179 died of an abscess of the esophageal area resulting in septicemia when the abscess ruptured. Again, this process does not take place in a single day. Two other lambs had similarly serious conditions which were apparently ignored. #58A had gangrene in the intestines while 60A developed yet another septicemia. Possibly the ultimate in lack of observation occurred with Sheep 3485 who was pregnant with two lambs. They died in utero, and were ignored for a sufficient period to cause health problems because the dead lambs began to decompose in utero, and eventually killed the mother.

Pneumonia or other respiratory tract diseases were also very prominent within this population of sheep. #56A an 8 week old Rambouillet lamb died of suppurative (pus forming) bronchopneumonia. Sheep 91 contracted a chronic suppurative bronchopneumonia with abscesses formed in lungs. A 5 week old Romanov sheep died of purulent (also means pus forming) bronchopneumonia from pneumonic pasteurellosis.

Sheep 34A (a 4 week old Romanov lamb) also had suppurative pneumonia. Sheep 5095 developed an abscessed lung from suppurative bronchopneumonia. While Sheep 5152 died of severe diffuse purulent bronchopneumonia. A one month old ewe lamb succumbed to acute necrosuppurative bronchiolitis (necrosuppurative -- forming pus and causing tissue death). Sheep 404 had severe necrosuppurative meningoencephalitis (causing tissue death and pus). Sheep 284 was ovariectomized on 10/19/06 then treated with follicle stimulating hormone for 5 days. Found dead on 10/27/06 with severe fluid or electrolyte loss, which could indicate an improperly performed surgery. Sheep 277 very heavily parasitized, caused total absence of body fat. For a sheep to reach the point where no body fat was present as a result of parasitism is clearly an indication of inadequate animal care.

I can supply you with copies of relevant documents if you need them. However, NDSU should make this information (and more) available when you perform your investigation.

From these violations it is clear that North Dakota State University has a total and utter disregard for both the welfare of animals and the authority of the USDA. Therefore, it is imperative that you take action against this facility immediately. I ask that you immediately initiate an investigation of this facility and I strongly urge you to impose the largest fine allowable by law. I would like to receive copies of all documents generated by this investigation.

With Respect For All Life,

Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T.,
Executive Director, SAEN

See Facility Reports and Information to learn more about North Dakota State University

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