Please levy the MAXIMUM FINE against University of Iowa for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act which has been documented in three consecutive USDA inspection reports. The USDA has documented that inadequately trained and negligent UI staff allowed a goat to escape, killed a pig, and killed 4 rabbits. Their behavior should NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Another group calls on UI to release
goat to sanctuary
By Jeff Charis-Carlson, Press-Citizen.com, February 23, 2016
A national research watchdog organization has joined the chorus of people calling on the University of Iowa to place a previously escaped research animal with a shelter.
Stop Animal Exploitation NOW issued a statement Monday calling on UI officials to review whether the goat, nicknamed William, should continue to be used for research purposes after being out of UI custody for 10 days this year.
"Individual research subjects are routinely excluded from research projects if they have the potential to confound the results,” the group’s executive director, Michael Budkie, said in the release. “William wondered freely for over a week and UI staff have no idea what happened to him during that time (i.e. what he ate, how he behaved, etc.). As a result William exemplifies the poorest of potential research subjects and continuing to experiment on him is not only cruel, but also scientifically meaningless.”
Budkie’s statement referenced a Feb. 1 inspection report in which the U.S. Department of Agriculture cites the university for the “improper handling practices” that led to the goat’s escape. He also mentioned federal reports from 2014 and 2015 documenting the deaths of a pig and four rabbits within UI facilities.
“The USDA citation followed the university’s self-reporting of the animal's escape,” Stephen Pradarelli, strategic communications director for the UI Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, said via email. “It's the only citation we've received for this incident.”
Pradarelli said the university continues to cooperate “with all relevant funding and regulatory agencies and has taken steps to prevent a similar incident from occurring.”
UI has suspended the specific protocol for the research project involving the goat while the incident is investigated by compliance staff and members of UI's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
UI officials have turned down requests to relocate the goat to one of several animal sanctuaries specializing in former research subjects. The goat, they say, “has been returned to its research protocol.”
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals also has called for an investigation of UI's handling of the goat, arguing that the animal's escape was the result of violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
Return to Media Coverage