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

Media Coverage

Group Faults Animal Research

April 24, 2004

Staff Report
Hartford Courant

A group seeking to end the use of animals in medical research said Friday that three Connecticut schools are among the nation's worst violators of animal welfare regulations.

The report, compiled by the Cincinnati-based group Stop Animal Exploitation Now, lists laboratory violations found at 25 research institutions during federal inspections between 1999 and 2003.

More than 1,000 institutions use animals in research, but only 25 were reviewed in the report, a group spokesman said.

The University of Connecticut at Storrs had 43 violations, the third-highest number of violations among the 25 labs. UConn Health Center in Farmington ranked 10th with 25 violations, and Yale University Medical School was 14th with 14 violations.

Altogether, the group counted 559 violations at the 25 laboratories.

Although the list of violators was not comprehensive, "we believe the top 10, at least, are among the worst violators in the country," said Michael Budkie, executive director of SAEN.

The rankings are fundamentally misleading because they do not include hundreds of schools, said UConn Health Center's chief spokesman Jim Walter, who said the school remains in good standing with the chief animal welfare accrediting association.

In March 2002, UConn was fined $129,000 for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. Among complaints that led to the fine were the death of 22 naked mole rats due to neglect when their caretaker went on vacation. Also, a rabbit died during surgery conducted by an unqualified technician.

At the time, UConn pledged to spend more than $20 million to correct problems.

No violations directly affecting animal welfare have been found since the fine and the UConn got a perfect score on its inspection in January, said spokeswoman Karen Grava.

Spokesmen for Yale could not be reached for comment Friday night.


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