Please LEVY a MAXIMUM FINE against this repeat violator, Wake Forest University, for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) when their negligence killed a pig and a prairie vole. This repeat offender's behavior must NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Wake Forest Baptist receives citations
from USDA in regards to animal research program
By Fran Daniel, Winston-Salem Journal, May 27, 2016
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service issued four citations against Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center during a routine inspection of the medical center’s animal research program in April.
The inspection included an incident dating back to June 2015. The medical center’s Animal Resources Program Downtown Campus research facility’s license and registration is under the name Wake Forest University.
According to the inspection report, a pig that had abdominal surgery in September 2015 was euthanized due to surgical complications. Necropsy findings included discovery of a surgical towel in the pig’s abdominal cavity.
During the inspection, improperly labeled medications and/or expired drugs were identified in lab spaces.
In June 2015, a prairie vole, which is a small rodent, was found dead outside its enclosure, and during a recent 11-month period, two sheep were found outside their primary enclosures.
The USDA inspectors also determined that the level of cleanliness was not acceptable where animals are brought for studies. The inspectors stated in the report that “accumulations of dust, hair, excess unused materials, surplus equipment, boxes and previously used medical supplies were noted in and around the animal testing spaces.”
Wake Forest Baptist said that it “takes very seriously any deviation from standard animal research care protocols and is committed to protecting the welfare of the animals used in its research program.”
The medical center said that in three animal incidents noted in the USDA report, Wake Forest Baptist’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee investigated the incidents, immediately reported them to the USDA and the National Institutes of Health Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, or OLAW, and took appropriate corrective actions.
“OLAW reviewed the matters and found the medical center’s response to be appropriate,” said Wake Forest Baptist.
The medical center’s corrective actions included retraining of all personnel involved on proper surgical procedures and post-surgical care; and placing the principal investigator and one member of the research team on probation for six months, both in reference to the pig.
Stop Animal Exploitation NOW, or SAEN, a national research watchdog organization, is claiming that “Wake Forest University” is continuing to break animal welfare laws and should be fined.
The USDA has investigated Wake Forest Baptist in the past. On Dec. 17, 2012, for example, Wake Forest Baptist was fined $35,464 by the USDA for various violations of the Animal Welfare Act in connection with the medical center’s animal research procedures. The medical center paid the fine.
“It is clear that Wake Forrest has a long-term, and deadly, disregard for the law and a disrespect of the federal government’s attempts to enforce it against them,” said Stacey Ellison, a SAEN research analyst.
The USDA cited the medical center for eight events that occurred from 2009 to 2012. One of those events was the escape of a female monkey from a university research center near Clemmons in late June 2012. The monkey roamed parts of southern Forsyth and northern Davidson counties for 11 days. It was recovered unharmed.
In June 2015, the medical center was cited for two different occasions when monkeys were out of their primary enclosures and loose in a room. Two animals were injured.
Wake Forest Baptist said last July that the animals were returned to their primary enclosures and one monkey returned on its own, and that the injuries were from animals biting each other.
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