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

Media Coverage

Watchdog Takes Aim at Texas Heart Institute

Group accuses Institute of abusing research animals.

By KTRH's Bill O'Neal
Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Unqualified personnel, failure to follow proper surgical techniques and more. One animal rights group will tell you it has counted a total of 15 federal violations involving research animals at the Texas Heart Institute over the last three years. Some of those allegations sound like something straight out of a horror movie.

"The euthanasia method (in one case) that was used was to literally cut the heart out of an animal that was still alive," Stop Animal Exploitation Now's Executive Director Michael Budkie said, who is quick to add his group has come across other cases of alleged abuse as well.

"Another incident showed a ten day, unwarranted, and extremely distress causing confinement of a calf," Budkie said.

The group said the findings come from a freedom of information request, which has shed a very negative light on research facilities around the country, not just in Houston.

"We believe that what's going on there really is indicative of what's happening across the United States, because violations of the Animal Welfare Act have actually increased by 90-percent over the last five years. So what’s happening at the Texas Heart Institute is not unique," Budkie said. "These kinds of things are not in any way unusual, and we want the public to know that what happens in supposedly well-regulated facilities is anything but humane."

In a statement, The Texas Heart Institute said it "subscribes to the highest government standards to ensure the ethical and sensitive care and use of animals in research, teaching, and testing, and has earned full accreditation by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care."

See: Texas Heart Institute, Houston, TX for more information

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