Contact the USDA to Demand another Federal Fine against OU:
Thank you for levying a $19,143 fine against the University of Oklahoma. However, serious federal violations at this facility have continued. So, please LEVY a larger Fine against University of Oklahoma for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) when their negligence killed 3 chinchillas and 5 guinea pigs. This repeat offender's behavior must NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Animal rights group files complaint
against OU to USDA following recent reports of animal deaths
By name, OU Daily, September 16, 2016
An animal rights group is seeking penalties against OU for the recent deaths of animals in OU research facilities.
Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!, a national anti-animal experimentation group, has filed four complaints against OU in 2016 for animal deaths, according to a press release from SAEN executive director Michael Budkie.
Budkie said SAEN is pursuing fines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture against OU. In light of previous animal deaths at OU, Budkie said SAEN is hoping to enact the maximum penalty from the USDA.
“Since they’ve already been fined almost $20,000 but are still violating federal law in a way that is literally killing animals, we’re seeking the maximum penalty, which is $10,000 per infraction per animal,” said Budkie.
“Since there are a significant number of animals, this could easily be a six-figure penalty,” said Budkie.
The USDA set OU with a $19,143 fine in January 2016 for negligence in animal deaths and violating of the Animal Welfare Act. Budkie said the penalties SAEN is now seeking will cover incidents that occurred after these fines were enacted.
In a written complaint to the USDA filed Sept. 7, 2016, Budkie said 13 animals, including baboons, rabbits, chinchillas, a dog and multiple guinea pigs, have died in OU's care since the payment of the $19,143 fine levied in January. Reports from the OU Health Sciences Center Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee confirm the deaths of these animals.
A USDA inspection report from February 2016 also indicates “a significant deficiency” in the quality and sanitation of OU's Comparative Medicine animal facility.
James Tomasek, vice president for research at OU Health Sciences Center, said in an email Sept. 16 that the USDA has not taken any further action against OU.
The OUHSC Institutional Animal Care and Use Program voluntarily undergoes regular inspections from the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International, and it has also received the continued approval of the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare and the National Institutes of Health, Tomasek also said in the email.
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