Watchdog group requests investigation at SLU over dead piglet
Media Coverage About SAEN Stop Animal Exploitation Now



Dr. Robert Gibbens
Director, Western Region, USDA
(970) 494-7478
[email protected]
[email protected]


Please levy the MAXIMUM FINE against Saint Louis University for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act which caused the death of a piglet. Their negligence MUST NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.


Watchdog group requests investigation at SLU over dead piglet
By Ashley Jost,, June 20, 2017

ST. LOUIS A national animal rights watchdog group announced Tuesday it has filed an official complaint against St. Louis University after an incident in the fall of 2016 that led to a dead piglet.

According to an inspection report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a piglet died in September after a staff member connected a nutrition bag to the piglet's jugular catheter instead of the IV fluid bag.

"The research facility acted promptly to address this incident by conducting an investigation," reporting it to the proper agencies "and swiftly implementing appropriate corrective actions," the USDA report said.

That includes retraining staff and hiring a new research assistant to prevent that happening again.

St. Louis University issued a statement saying the school is "committed to maintaining the highest standards for the care and use of animals in research. SLU fully investigated the inadvertent death of a pig that occurred during approved medical research last fall, self-reported the incident, and took immediate actions including enhanced training and oversight to prevent future incidents. These actions were acknowledged by the USDA during a recent routine inspection."

In a letter to the USDA, the watchdog group Stop Animal Exploitation Now, requests a full investigation into the incident at SLU, though the organization misidentifies the institution toward the end of the letter.

"The level of carelessness and incompetence necessary to bungle a basic procedure like this is nothing short of astonishing," SAEN co-founder Michael Budkie said in a statement. "We agree with the USDA that St. Louis University staff is clearly unqualified to perform even basic procedures."

The maximum penalty during such an investigation is $10,000 for the infraction, per animal.

See also:

Return to Media Coverage