SAEN LogoAnimal welfare group files complaint against UAB after pig, monkey research deaths
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Contact USDA to DEMAND MAX FINE against UAB:

Dr Elizabeth Goldentyer
Director, USDA, Eastern Region
[email protected]
[email protected]


Please levy the MAXIMUM FINE against University of Alabama, Birmingham, (UAB) for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act when their negligence killed a ferret. It is unconscionable that UAB allowed a ferret to become wedged in a cage and not be found until dead. Their behavior should NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law. The time is NOW to send a clear message with stiff penalties to these incompetent facilities that these behaviors will NOT be tolerated!  

Animal welfare group files complaint against UAB after pig, monkey research deaths
By Melissa Brown,, September 15, 2014

An animal welfare group is calling for the USDA to take severe action against the University of Alabama at Birmingham after the death of two animals used for laboratory testing.

UAB voluntarily reported the deaths to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare in 2013, but the group Stop Animal Exploitation Now filed an official complaint Sept. 7 with the USDA Animal and Health Inspection Service calling for an "immediate" investigation and levying of maximum fines.

SAEN research Associate Stacey Ellison wrote that the USDA should take "the most severe action allowable" under the Animal Welfare Act and levy a $10,000 fine per infraction on UAB.

"The chief concern and responsibility among our highly trained researchers who have the privilege of working with animals to advance science and medicine is respectful and humane treatment; we give concerns raised by animal activists close attention, as we trust they share that interest," UAB Assistant Vice President for Animal Research Services Sam Cartner said in an emailed statement Monday. "UAB has a rich history of medical advancements made possible by research with animals, and we respect the great contributions made by animals to science for the benefit of both humans and animals alike – not only at UAB, but around the world."

In 2012, a rhesus monkey died after researchers gave it an intramuscular injection instead of the approved oral route. In 2013, a pig died after being transported 70 miles in a poorly-cooled cargo area, as the result of broken cooling fans.

According to letters between UAB's vice president of research and the national Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, UAB officials reported both deaths when they occurred and outlined procedures implemented to prevent similar incidents. In addition, investigators concluded the errant injection was not the cause of death in the rhesus monkey.

"Faculty and staff work closely with UAB's roughly 40-member Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee – which consists of veterinarians, representatives of the general public, researchers, experts in occupational health and safety and administrative personnel – to meet and exceed policies of regulatory and accrediting agencies," Cartner said. "In a rare instance when corrective action is required, we take the necessary steps to prevent future incidents, and we self-report to the appropriate agency or agencies."

But the SAEN group believes both incidents are violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

"I must insist that you take the most severe action allowable under the Animal Welfare Act and immediately begin the process of issuing the maximum fine allowable against the University of Alabama-Birmingham at the completion of your investigation," SAEN wrote.  

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