Rutgers issued animal cruelty complaint
Media Coverage About SAEN Stop Animal Exploitation Now



Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer
Director, USDA, Eastern Region
(919) 855-7100
[email protected]
[email protected]


Please LEVY a MAXIMUM FINE against Rutgers University, for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) when their negligence allowed a rabbit, a pig, and a goat to die unnecessarily. This behavior must NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.


Rutgers issued animal cruelty complaint

From Bob Makin,, March 2, 2020

NEW BRUNSWICK — An animal rights group has filed a federal complaint against Rutgers University in the wake of three animal deaths during laboratory experiments, according to a release.

According to Ohio-based Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! (SAEN), a rabbit was boiled alive during cage sterilization, a goat died after becoming immobilized in a feeder, and a pig died following a surgery, said the release.

A national watchdog nonprofit that investigates animal abuse and illegal activities at U.S. research facilities, SAEN said that it has filed a federal complaint against Rutgers for “the negligence that killed the three animals” which allegedly broke federal laws, the release said.

SAEN co-founder Michael Budkie filed the complaint with U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, a division of the Department of Agriculture, the release continued.

The university responded in a statement that the USDA is aware of the three incidents and cleared the university of any wrongdoing.

"We take animal care and welfare matters seriously and report all incidents to the appropriate authorities, outlining actions taken to ensure necessary protections and the continued welfare of the animals in our care," Rutgers said in a statement. "The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare have reviewed these matters, conducted site visits following the incidents, and found no animal welfare concerns and determined no laws were broken.

"At Rutgers, we are dedicated to the responsible conduct of research and ensuring the public’s trust in our scientific endeavors," the university continued. "As part of that commitment, our Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee ensures that the highest standards of science, safety, service, and humane care for the animals in our care are met. Our staff are professionally trained, qualified, and regularly receive continuing education training so they are well informed of advancements and best practices in animal care."

Sterilization in research facilities is accomplished by washing items at temperatures high enough to kill most bacteria. The rabbit, therefore, was boiled alive, Budkie said in the release. He also stated that the pig died following a surgery in which a bowel was accidentally perforated, and the goat died after it was caught in a faulty feeder.

The complaint alleges that Rutgers violated federal regulations related to proper animal handling, veterinary care and personnel qualifications, the release said.
The complaint seeks the maximum penalty of $10,000 per infraction per animal, the release said.

"If Rutgers University staff is so incompetent that they don't check to make sure cages are empty before sterilization, and they can't perform surgery without perforating a bowel, then why should anyone believe that they are capable of doing anything that even roughly resembles science," Budkie, a veterinary technician, said in the release. "These violations are clear and unadulterated negligence."

Budkie’s complaint was based on three Rutgers reports that he detailed in his complaint, the release said.

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