UCSF lab faulted in deaths of 4 animals
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Dr. Robert Gibbens
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Sample Message: ~ UCSF lab faulted in deaths of 4 animals

Please levy the MAXIMUM FINE against the University of California, San Francisco, for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) when their negligence caused the death of two pigs and two voles. Their behavior should NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law for this repeat violator of the AWA!


UCSF lab faulted in deaths of 4 animals
By Alison Graham, SFGate.com, August 29, 2017

Federal inspectors have disclosed that four laboratory animals at UCSF died in cases in which researchers failed to follow proper surgical procedures.
U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors visited a campus-run lab July 26 and noted the deaths of two pigs and two voles, a rodent similar to a mouse, according to inspection reports.

An animal rights group has asked the USDA to issue the maximum allowable fine — $10,000 per infraction, per animal. It cited other UCSF violations in animal research labs dating to at least 2001.

“The research staff at UCSF has demonstrated a total lack of respect for federal law,” Michael Budkie, executive director of lab animal rights group Stop Animal Exploitation Now, said Tuesday. “And that should not be tolerated.”

Representatives from UCSF said in a statement that the university’s own veterinarians had documented the incidents and taken “corrective actions” to address them prior to the USDA inspection.

“The University takes very seriously the care and use of the animals it studies, and ensures that as few animals as possible are used in research,” UCSF’s statement said.

Budkie filed a complaint to the director of the USDA’s Western region last week about the most recent inspections of UCSF.

If the maximum fine is issued, UCSF could be facing a penalty of $80,000, Budkie said.

Andre Bell, a USDA spokesman, said the university has an opportunity to try to correct the violations. After that, the agency will make a decision on any fines, he said.

The USDA inspection reports show that in one instance, a pig received 50 times the amount of steam allowed in an ablation procedure on its gallbladder. Steam ablation is a technique that is being explored around the country as an alternative to surgery. In the UCSF experiment, 200 puffs of steam were given to the pig, but only four are permitted in lab protocols created by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

After the gallbladder procedure, the pig stopped eating and was euthanized a few days later. A postmortem examination showed that the animal’s stomach had been perforated, according to the USDA inspection report.

In a separate incident, a pig was taken in for a CT scan, then died when it was taken back to its enclosure. The research staff disposed of the body before an examination could be done to determine the cause of death.

In April, a UCSF researcher performed cranial surgery on two voles before the procedure was approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. The small incisions on the heads of the voles did not heal as expected and the animals were euthanized, according to the USDA report.

In 2015 and 2016, UCSF researchers were cited for leaving animals unmonitored and not administering enough pain relievers after surgery, both of which could cause unnecessary pain and distress for the animals.

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