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Articles and Reports

1081-B St. Rt. 28 PMB 280
Milford, Ohio 45150

Mike Johans, Office of the Secretary 6/23/06
United States Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W. Room 200-A
Washington, DC 20250

Secretary Johans,

I am writing to you today to ask for your intervention in several matters regarding the violation of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) by a number of laboratories in the United States.

The organization which I direct, SAEN, recently obtained USDA/APHIS/AC inspection reports for over 160 laboratories in the U.S. The AWA violations by many of these facilities are shocking. A monkey strangled on plastic tubing at Harvard because the researcher who was in charge of the primate went to lunch. At the Boehringer Ingelheim pharmaceutical company in Ridgefield (CT) a beagle asphyxiated after becoming trapped between the bars of a cage. At this same facility a squirrel monkey died after being run through a cage washer (a repeat incident), other primates lost all the skin off their hands or sustained thermal injuries.

At Vanderbilt a squirrel monkey named Lilí Wayne was found in a state of collapse due to the shutoff of water during renovations; he was euthanized. At Emory University two rhesus monkeys were duct taped to restraint chairs for blood withdrawal. Dogs at the Southern Research Institute were starved during a two week period to the point that one dog lost more than 38% of his/her body weight. Dogs at Covance laboratories are also deprived of food.

The number of AWA violations at these laboratories is also extremely high. Within a nine month period these facilities had these violations:

Other facilities which also bear investigation include: Boston University, McLean Hospital, Scheppens Eye Research Institute, MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital, Stanford, Franklin & Marshall College, the University of New Jersey Medical & Dental School, and Yale.

Both the number and the severity of these violations is shocking. It is clear that these laboratories have no respect for the humane treatment of animals or for public safety. It is also obvious that they are not concerned by the potential for enforcement actions by USDA/APHIS/AC.

I hereby request that you immediately initiate investigations of these facilities and that the most severe enforcement actions allowable under federal law by implemented.

I also request that you initiate another audit of the Eastern Regional Office of USDA/APHIS/AC by the Office of the Inspector General due to the inaction of the Eastern Regional Office with regard to the offending facilities. In the report that is attached to this letter you will see that the Western Regional Office apparently has open cases against the University of Colorado (Denver), the University of Hawaii (Manoa), the University of Louisiana (Lafayette), the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (NM) and the SNBL facility (Everett, WA). So, I can only assume that since the documentation for these laboratories was provided that no actions are underway at the present time.

Please contact me in writing with the results of these investigations.


Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T.,
Executive Director, SAEN

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