USDA cites Florida State University in death of hamsters
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Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer
Director, USDA, Eastern Region
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Please LEVY a MAXIMUM FINE against Florida State University for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) when their negligence killed three hamsters. This behavior must NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

 

USDA cites Florida State University in death of hamsters
By James Call, Tallahassee.com, August 22, 2017

Botched surgery leads to three hamsters' deaths

Florida State University biomedical researchers failed to provide humane and appropriate postoperative care to its laboratory hamsters, according to a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection.

Inspectors found two violations during a June visit to the Chieftan Way facility where animals are kept for medical testing.

Inspectors in June said researchers failed to give their test subjects pain medication after conducting surgery, a violation of USDA protocol for lab animals. As many as 17 hamsters were suspected of having not been given an injection of an appropriate analgesia after being cut open and sutured.

An inspector also wrote she observed an experiment where researchers employed a surgical procedure and provided postoperative care that “differed significantly” from USDA protocol. When a euthanized animal was examined, sutures were found not to be closed “appropriately” and the animal had an intestinal entrapment.

Two other animals involved in the experiment were also put down. The final report has yet to be written.

The June 21 inspection report found the first citation — lack of pain management for surgical subjects — was immediately corrected. The paperwork for the second violation has yet to be completed. FSU officials told the USDA that changes were made in surgical procedures and staff had been retrained but a follow-up report from the USDA is not yet available.

Three previous USDA inspections of the FSU facility did not result in any violations.

“FSU has been fully transparent in self-reporting this procedural violation regarding the postoperative care of hamsters to the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” said Vice President for Research Gary K. Ostrander. “We very much regret the incident and have taken immediate action to further train and educate those involved regarding the appropriate care for animals involved in research.”

In a letter sent to the USDA Monday, the group Stop Animal Exploitation Now called for the agency to "take the most severe action" allowed against the university and level its maximum fine of $10,000 for each infraction.

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