PITT Research Labs Break Federal Laws Often, Make '10 Most Wanted' List in U.S., Watchdog Group Charges
NEWS CONFERENCE ADVISORY
Monday, April 19, 2004
Contact: Michael Budkie (412) 371-0384 or (513) 575-5517
PITTSBURGH - A national watchdog organization said it
will make public a white paper here Tuesday accusing prominent U.S.
research laboratories - including those at University of Pittsburgh - of
repeatedly breaking federal laws while the Bush Administration refuses
The report, "Breaking the Law: Animal Care in U.S.
Laboratories," will be released at a news conference in Pittsburgh,
Tuesday, April 20, at 2 p.m., at the William Pitt Union (Dining Room A).
Univ. of Pittsburgh labs were so bad the university
made the "10 Most Wanted" list of federal law violators, ranking No. 9
in the U.S. with 27 violations.
The report details patterns of violations in U.S.
labs, providing statistics revealing that these labs regularly break
federal laws without fear of any consequences.
"University of Pittsburgh broke the law at least 27
times in a 3 year period," said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive
Director, SAEN, and author of the report. He cited several examples of
federal law violations, and abuse of animals at Pitt, including one
where rabbits' limbs are constantly kept moving for 30 consecutive days
while the rabbits are continuously restrained.
"Laboratories that use tens of thousands of animals
and receive hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants are
violating the law on a daily basis," he said, adding, "These labs seem
not to care about enforcement actions by the USDA. They see the fines as
just part of doing business."
Cincinnati-based Stop Animal Exploitation NOW (SAEN)
claims that an audit of 25 nationally-known labs exposed a consistent
pattern of violating the law. Government reports reveal these facilities
violated federal regulations 559 times in a 3-year period.
Also on the "10 Most Wanted" list is Johns Hopkins,
the University of Connecticut (Farmington & Storrs), the University of
Florida, the University of Pennsylvania, Emory, University of California
(San Francisco), Charles River Labs, and the University of Puerto Rico.