Vanderbilt bans scientist from using animals, breaks federal law, release says
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Dr. Robert Gibbens
Director, Animal Welfare Operations, USDA-APHIS
[email protected]
[email protected]

Please levy the MAXIMUM FINE against Vanderbilt University for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act when their negligence caused 5 guinea pigs to die, possibly by suffocation. Their behavior should NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.


Vanderbilt bans scientist from using animals, breaks federal law, release says

From, January 12, 2021

A Vanderbilt scientist has been banned from using animals and suspends the experiment after breaking federal law, a release said.

The Vanderbilt University research administration suspended an animal experiment, plus indefinitely suspended a staff person “from all hands-on live animal work,” after the deaths of multiple animals in an illegally performed experiment, according to a government document recently obtained via FOIA.

The document was obtained by SAEN after a federal complaint was made against Vanderbilt with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture over the deaths of five animals in what was called “failed ventilator testing procedures,” the release said.

SAEN is an Ohio-based national watchdog that monitors U.S. research facilities for illegal activities and animal abuse.

“I am very concerned that this phrase ‘failed ventilator testing procedures’ could mean that these five guinea pigs suffocated,” said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., SAEN co-founder, in the federal complaint.

According to the release, the complaint alleges violations of federal regulations for animal handling, and for project supervision by Vanderbilt’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).
It also raises the possibility that Vanderbilt may have failed to report the project suspension to the federal regulator at the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, yet another federal violation of the law, the release said.

The latest animal deaths at Vanderbilt follow the issuance of two serious non-compliances by the USDA against the laboratory in consecutive years, 2019 & 2020. Serious citations (Critical or Direct) appear in only two percent of all USDA inspections of US laboratories.

“The fact that Vanderbilt has received Critical/Direct citations in two consecutive years puts this facility among the worst laboratories in the entire nation,” added Budkie. “Now Vanderbilt has killed five more animals, and potentially hidden the project suspension from the USDA.”

Previous reports cited Vanderbilt for failing to provide adequate veterinary care to six rabbits who received painful injections into their eyes, and for the illegal deaths of 17 gerbils during multiple botched procedures over the course of 10 months.

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