Animal rights group wants MPI Research fined: USDA report finds four animals were euthanized after being injured

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Please contact Elizabeth Goldentyre to demand that the MPI Research receive the largest fine possible under the Animal Welfare Act for the negligence which has killed 4 animals - 2 primates, 1 dog and 1 pig.

Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer
920 Main Campus Drive, Suite 2000
Raleigh, NC 27606
[email protected]

Animal rights group wants MPI Research fined: USDA report finds four animals were euthanized after being injured

By Al Jones, Kalamazoo Gazette, Friday, September 9, 2011

TAn animal rights group is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to levy a major fine against MPI Research in Mattawan related to events that led to the deaths of four of its laboratory animals.
Two primates, one dog and a pig were apparently euthanized by the contract research facility's operation in Mattawan, allegedly as a result of negligence or being mishandled, said Michael A. Budkie, executive director of Stop Animal Exploitation Now.

Dates for the incidents were not included in a posting about the inspection by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. But Budkie said the incidents were likely among those referenced by a person he described in an earlier complaint as a current or former MPI employee. The incidents may have occurred as early as June 2007.

Joan Manners, senior director of marketing for MPI, said the company is aware of the allegations and offered this written statement:

"MPI Research’s commitment to a humane and ethical work environment is at the core of our support to develop groundbreaking new medicines and cures for mankind. We continually work with agencies such as the USDA to develop and maintain the highest standards required by law and regulations. As a global leader in preclinical drug development, our employees work to ensure the highest standards of care as MPI Research seeks medical breakthroughs necessary to treat the diseases that afflict millions of people and animals around the world."

MPI Research is contracted by drug and biotech companies to do safety and efficacy studies on pharmaceuticals and chemicals. According to the USDA report, its laboratories had an inventory of 1,295 monkeys on an Aug. 3 inspection date. The vast majority were crab-eating macaques.

SAEN, which is based in Milford, Ohio (near Cincinnati), is a 15-year-old organization that works to try to force an end to abuse of animals in laboratories.

Based on a report by the employee, who SAEN describes as a whistleblower, SAEN filed a complaint with the USDA against MPI in November of 2010. On Jan. 13 of this year, a USDA inspector completed an inspection there and found two items of noncompliance with the U.S. Animal Welfare Act. Findings from a follow-up inspection on Aug. 3, found another and was the catalyst for SAEN's call now for proceedings against MPI and its call for a fine.

According to the brief, Aug. 3 inspection report, MPI animal records and supporting documents showed that four animals had "sustained injuries subsequent to being handled for study and related purposes. These animals were euthanized as a result of these injuries.”
Although he said he does not know how the animals were injured, Budkie said, "The negligence at MPI killed four animals."

"This was released to us in documents from a whistleblower," he said, "someone who had worked for MPI for a number of years. ... This is the kind of thing for which MPI should pay a significant penalty."

Documents that SAEN purports to be from an internal MPI Research database of bone fractures, indicate that 15 primates and a swine suffered bone fractures between June 2007 and June 2009. The swine and six of the primates were euthanized, according to the records.

"In many instances, it is possible to do things like pinning an animal's broken bones (as you would for humans)," Budkie said." For these injuries to be so severe that treatment was not possible, they must have been very major injuries. This indicates a level of both negligence and incompetence that is simply inexcusable."

Al Jones can be reached at [email protected] or 269-388-8556.ext

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