IU Health research unit under fire for lab animal care

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Please contact Elizabeth Goldentyer to demand that the Methodist Medical Research Institute of Indiana University receive the largest fine possible under the Animal Welfare Act for the negligence which killed a dog during a medical procedure, and caused a second dog to experience severe pain.

Please insist that the USDA issue a fine, and let Dr. Goldentyer know that she MUST take action now!

Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer
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Raleigh, NC 27606
(919) 855-7100
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IU Health research unit under fire for lab animal care

By Shari Rudavsky, IndyStar.com, Monday, April 9, 2012

An animal rights group is calling upon the federal government to fine the Methodist Research Institute after investigators detailed seven federal violations, including the death of a dog.

Stop Animal Exploitation Now said only one place had more violations in one visit in the past year than the Indiana University Health facility. Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary had nine violations.

"This puts this facility in very bad company," said Michael A. Budkie, executive director of the Ohio-based group in an email. "Also, it is overall unusual for labs to kill animals through negligence like this."

In one instance, a dog was fed before undergoing surgery, contrary to protocol. The animal went into cardiac arrest and died, according to the March report from the Department of Agriculture. Another dog received less than half the dose of pain medication and was in such pain after surgery that it could not eat.

The report also found that Methodist Research Institute staff shied away from reporting their concerns about animal pain management because they were concerned about reprisal.

IU Health's Methodist Research Institute is comprised of seven laboratories that conduct research into such things as cancer, neuroscience and cryobiology.

IU Health officials responded to Budkie's charges in an email, saying, "The use of animals in research has contributed significantly to advancements in health care."

The institute has an oversight committee to ensure that all animals involved in laboratory research are treated humanely, an IU Health official said.

That committee conducted a review in December that found all aspects of the program to be adequate.

"However, given the number of program related citations during this inspection -- it is clear that program deficiencies were not noted," the USDA report said. "Failure to note and subsequently correct program deficiencies will lead to a failure to comply with the standards and regulations."

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