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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

Media Coverage

Animal Group Cites Record at UConn

Christina Hall - Chronicle Staff Writer

STORRS ó An anti-animal experimentation organization has placed the University of Connecticut in the top three of its worst federal law violators for treatment of laboratory animals.

The group ó Stop Animal Exploitation Now ó compiled a report that showed UConnís Storrs campus had 43 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act from May 2001 to January 2003.

That places UConn behind only the University of California at San Francisco and the University of Florida, with 51 and 47 violations respectively.

UConnís Farmington laboratory also made the list, ranking number 10 on the list with 25 violations. The third Connecticut laboratory cited on the list was Yale University with 19 violations.

Michael Budkie, executive director of the Ohio-based nonprofit group, said 25 research universities were included in the report, which found two problems in U.S. laboratories: poor conditions and poor enforcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

He highlighted the fact UConnís 43 violations all occurred after the university was fined $129,000 in March 2001.

Following a series of USDA inspections beginning in 1999 that found numerous violations of the rules governing animal-based research, the university paid the $129,000 under the terms of a signed consent order.

"Apparently the fine was insufficient to bring this lab into compliance," Budkie said.

The violations cited in the private groupís report ranged from the misuse of a bottle of expired medication in January 2003 to improper monitoring of a laboratory cat that eventually died in August 2001.

However, UConn officials insist their record has steadily improved since 1999, saying the report was using outdated data.

In January, UConn passed a two-year probation set by the USDA for prior violations without any fines, according to Douglas Stone, director of animal research services.

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