Animal welfare group targets UGA animal experiments
Media Coverage About SAEN Stop Animal Exploitation Now



Jere W. Morehead, President,
University of Georgia
[email protected]

President Morehead,

University of Georgia documents disclose negligence that has killed over 121 animals due to starvation, dehydration, drowning, or being left unattended during a surgical procedure.

These reports also disclose the dumping of 4 living animals into a carcass freezer. You must launch an internal investigation of all University of Georgia animal experimentation and terminate all responsible lab staff.


Animal welfare group targets UGA animal experiments
By Lee Shearer,, June 9, 2018

An animal rights group has called on University of Georgia President Jere Morehead to authorize an independent investigation into UGA’s animal experimentation programs and to fire workers responsible for what the group called a “multi-year pattern of carelessness and negligence.”

The Ohio-based group Stop Animal Exploitation Now, or SAEN, was founded in 1996 by Michael Budkie, now a well-known animal rights activist. The group has publicized animal welfare abuses at many American universities in the years since, including recently at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Iowa and the Indiana University School of Medicine, among others.

Budkie obtained records of correspondence over a two-year period between UGA officials and U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors detailing the deaths of more than 100 animals — mice and rats — and citing unsanitary conditions for some other UGA-owned animals, including monkeys, pigs and deer.

The correspondence showed “laboratory staff negligence caused the deaths and abuse — including 114 animals killed because of starvation and/or dehydration, four drowning deaths, three surgical/neglect deaths, and four living animals dumped into a carcass freezer,” according to SAEN.

UGA “adheres to federal laws and generally accepted policies on the treatment and care of lab animals” and takes those regulations seriously, but sometimes things go wrong, according to a statement from UGA spokesman Greg Trevor.

“Despite the best efforts of researchers and animal care staff, human error or facility failure can infrequently and regrettably lead to the loss of an animal,” his statement reads in part. “We investigate these incidents thoroughly and take steps to reduce the risk of them happening again. The corrective action also includes personnel actions including suspension and termination where appropriate. In addition, UGA reports the loss and the corrective action to federal oversight agencies and third-party accrediting agencies.”

This is not the first time UGA has drawn the ire of animal-rights activists. Most recently, in 2015, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals condemned a UGA field medicine training program in which the dogs were euthanized after being used to train National Guard medics in emergency field surgery techniques.

See also:

Return to Media Coverage