UW-Madison has been fined more than $35,000 by the USDA for seven violations of federal animal research treatment standards, the university announced Monday.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture assessed the fines for violations from 2007 to 2013, reports the Wisconsin State Journal.
The violations include the deaths of a research dog in 2009, a research gerbil in 2009 and a pregnant research monkey in 2012. In another incident, from 2012, a research cat suffered burns during anesthesia but recovered fully, according to the university.
In each incident, the actual deaths or injury to animals did not trigger the citations but rather the university’s handling of the cases, which was found to violate the federal Animal Welfare Act, the Journal reports.
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The dog’s death was not communicated properly to a supervising veterinarian, the USDA found. The gerbil’s death was related to inadequate daily observations. The monkey’s death did not lead to adequate retraining of the veterinarian who oversaw the surgery. The cat’s burns resulted from improper handling, the report states.
Two other violations cited inadequately maintained facilities. Another was for expired or improperly labeled medications.
The new fine comes in the wake of repeated high-profile allegations of animal abuse by animal-rights groups against the university in recent years. UW-Madison has more than 7,000 people certified to work with animals in more than 50 facilities, Dan Simmons.reports.
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture has now confirmed what UW-Madison has long denied,” said Justin Goodman, director of laboratory investigations for PETA.
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The university said it accepted the fine and has taken steps to prevent further violations.
“We believe the corrective actions made by UW-Madison in response to these events and the fact that most of the citable events did not directly affect animal welfare resulted in a relatively small fine,” the university said in a statement.
Stop Animal Exploitation Now claims it has evidence of further animal welfare abuses by researchers, and has asked for a new federal investigation of UW-Madison.