Did a University of Oklahoma lab inhumanely euthanize dogs?

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Did a University of Oklahoma lab inhumanely euthanize dogs?

From Amarillo.com, Monday, October 7, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY — Improper euthanasia methods for dogs at a University of Oklahoma laboratory may mean the animals suffered pain as they were killed, and a federal investigation should take place, an animal rights activist said.

Michael Budkie, executive director of Ohio-based Stop Animal Exploitation Now!, said federal authorities should conduct an investigation into OU's Health Sciences Center and institute the largest fine allowable by law against the facility.

An inspection report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted in August shows two citations against the facility. Budkie provided the reports to The Associated Press. One citation was for an improper euthanasia method for dogs. The report states that the dogs were electrocuted using a 9-volt battery applied to the heart. Anesthesia was used at the time of euthanasia. However, the same report cites the facility for not using correct surgical anesthesia. The principal investigator used injectable anesthesia, which can wear off during surgery.

"The combination of these two violations mean that several dogs in the lab at the University of Oklahoma could have been killed by electrocution to the heart while not fully anesthetized — they could have felt the pain of electrocution," Budkie wrote in the letter dated Oct. 4 to the USDA.

The violations are "extremely serious" because of the high potential for pain and suffering of the dogs, Budkie said. He filed an official complaint against the University of Oklahoma and asked that the USDA conduct an investigation of the situation and fine the institution the largest fine allowable by law, which is $10,000 per infraction.

"Electrocuting animals is barbaric," Budkie said in a statement. "The University of Oklahoma deserves the maximum possible penalty."

A spokeswoman for OU's Health Sciences Center did not respond to a request for comment. 

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