University Lab Fined for Animal Cruelty Says It’s Changed Its Ways

Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Oklahoma University president David Boren (photo: Brett Deering, Getty Images)

By Heide Brandes


OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - The University of Oklahoma (OU) has changed the way it runs a lab that uses live animals after the facility was found to have violated federal regulations for treatment that includes allowing guinea pigs to bleed to death, it said on Monday.


The university was fined $19,143 for violating the U.S. Animal Welfare Act (pdf) by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which cited the lab for violations that occurred in 2014 and 2015, the USDA said in late 2015.


The fine imposed on Nov. 5 was for incidents that also included hosing down baby baboons, failure to monitor baboons during surgical procedures and not providing environmental enhancements to a primate that suffered psychological stress, the document said.


The university's Health Sciences Center has implemented comprehensive corrective actions in response to each of the incidents, the school said.


"The Health Sciences Center is committed to rigorous safeguards to promote an ethical, humane and compliant research program and appreciates the guidance received from the USDA," the university said in a statement.


In September, University of Oklahoma President David Boren said the school's baboon breeding and research would end within four years after federal officials had found more than 50 baboons died, including 24 young baboons, under the OU Health Sciences Center's care.


USDA investigations found 11 incidents of suspected animal mistreatment at the labs in 2014 and 2015. Additional reports showed that the university has violated USDA procedure 16 times since 2013, an animal rights group said after going through USDA reports.


To Learn More:

Farm Animals Suffer from Government Breeding Experiments Aimed at Bolstering Meat Industry Profits (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Steve Straehley, AllGov)

FBI Upgrades Animal Cruelty to Class A Felony (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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