Groups to protest Penn's treatment of research animals today

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Groups to protest Penn's treatment of research animals today

By Amy Worden,, October 17, 2011

Animal welfare advocates say they will rally at the University of Pennsylvania today to protest the treatment of lab animals there.

The protest, organized by Animal Activists of Philly, will take place at University of Pennsylvania, at 12:30 PM, at the intersection of 34th and Walnut SE.

Angered over information revealed in a recent report issued by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (reported here last month) activists say they will keep the pressure on until the abuse of primates at University of Pennsylvania ends.

The PCRM study looked at conditions of animals and their treatment at Ivy League universities.

It found federal reports revealed the number one offender was the University of Pennsylvania, which houses thousands of animals and had received repeated violations by inspectors (115 since 2008), among them the discovery of a dead puppy under a grate. Labs also were found to have deliberately deprived primates of water for periods up to 21 hours per day.

Penn last month said its biomedical research is conducted in accordance with all federal laws for humane care and treatment of laboratory animals and meets private accreditation standards

But that did not comfort animal welfare advocates who pointed to an official warning from USDA was recently issued against Penn in the deaths of several animals.

“University of Pennsylvania’s pattern of animal abuse as revealed in federal reports clearly demonstrates a total disregard for animals, said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN.) “If an individual deliberately deprived an animal of water they would go to jail. Why should the University of Pennsylvania get a free pass?”

A similar protest about lab animal treatment took place Saturday at Princeton University, where federal inspection reports noted that lab animals were deprived of water, among other violations.

That report prompted a letter by an unnamed university laboratory employee detailing various animal conduct violations. graphic pictures of distressed primates and dead rats that were purported to have been taken at the university.

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