SAEN LogoFollowing death of sheep, animal welfare organization files complaint against UW - Stop Animal Exploitation Now is seeking a federal investigation
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Please levy the MAXIMUM FINE against University of Wisconsin, Madison, for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act when their ineptitude carelessly killed a pregnant ewe. Their behavior should NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Following death of sheep, animal welfare organization files complaint against UW - Stop Animal Exploitation Now is seeking a federal investigation
By Gerald Porter, BadgerHerald.com,, October 20, 2015

As a result of the death of a pregnant sheep in University of Wisconsin custody in April, an animal welfare group has filed a complaint that could force the university to pay more than $500,000 in fines.

Associate professor of psychology at UW Allyson Bennett said sheep research is part of science aimed at discovering how prenatal factors influence health of individuals in parenthood. The goal of the research, she said, is to better understand blood flow and prenatal health, as scientists are interested in understanding the risk for conditions like hypertension.

In the case where the sheep died, Bennett said, researchers were working to find out how aspects of hormone production during pregnancy can alter blood flow between the mother and fetus.

The sheep’s cause of death was attributed to respiratory problems due to obstruction of airways. While in transport and recovering from anesthesia — a measure Bennett said has been performed many times without accident — the sheep’s physical movement caused the obstruction to occur, leading to death.

“As in any endeavor, sometimes things go wrong,” Bennett said. “When things do go wrong, we report them to the office of laboratory of animal welfare at the National Institute of Health. UW is very open about that, and if an accident or mistake occurs, it’s rare and infrequent, but reported.”

Bennett said the research conducted at the university is done responsibly, humanely and under state, local and federal regulation. She said she hopes people can take the time to learn about the science and how it benefits humans and society.

Stop Animal Exploitation Now’s co-founder and Executive Director Michael Budkie disagreed.

He said after looking into recent federal documents filed with the National Institute of Health and U.S. Department of Agriculture, a trend of ongoing negligence is evident. There were dozens of instances at UW where primates have escaped or been injured, with some resulting in the amputation of primate’s limbs.

Budkie said there is no reason why these accidents should be happening. But since they are, with the most recent one being the death of the pregnant sheep, he filed a complaint with USDA to seek an investigation that would lead to federal fines.

“We want to educate the public about what takes place in these facilities, especially when we see laboratories like UW that have a consistent ongoing pattern of negligence that causes animals to be severely injured and or die,” Budkie said.

Under the best conditions, Budkie said the concept of generalizing from animals to human beings is questionable. This means, according to Budkie, the experimentation at UW is “virtually meaningless,” which he said should result in the redistribution of public dollars to pay for human health care.

Bennett said the only reason Budkie filed this complaint against the university because Stop Animal Exploitation Now’s work “targets” biomedical and behavioral research.

In doing this, Bennett said Budkie’s only goal is to garner media attention and recruit more people to be opposed to the use of animals in research.

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