SAEN seeks fines for UNL researchers
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Dr. Robert Gibbens
Director, Animal Welfare Operations, USDA-APHIS
[email protected] 
[email protected] 

Please levy the MAXIMUM FINE against University of Nebraska, Lincoln, for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act which denied euthanasia to suffering animals. Their behavior should NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.


SAEN seeks fines for UNL researchers

From Alex Whitney, Nebraska.TV, June 11, 2021

LINCOLN, Neb. ó They don't mind the research but they want to see it done right. An Animal rights group is criticizing the University of Nebraska for some of its animal research practices but the university says they have identified the problem and are taking the needed steps to fix it.

The issue in question popped up during a research study this winter.

UNL researchers were utilizing deer mice as part of their experiment but health issues separate to the experiment started to appear in two of the mice.

"Through these documents which again we obtained through the freedom of information act, is that animals had developed what they referred to as ulcerative dermatitis. This was something that was supposed to be a cause of euthanasia," said Budkie.

The documents requested by SAEN shows that researchers at the University moved the infected mice to another room rather than euthanize them and did not inform administrative staff of that decision.

Administrators with UNL were quick to resolve the issue when it was brought to their attention in January and in a statement said,

"After discovering this incident, UNLís Institutional Animal Care Program and its Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee responded swiftly to assure the proper protocols for the two mice involved were followed. The incident was timely reported to appropriate federal authorities. The University took firm action to prevent similar occurrences in the future."

SAEN agrees that the problem was at the research level but they aren't satisfied with what they see as a lack of consequences for the botched handling of the mice and says more incidents like these can jeopardize entire research projects.

"As the animal welfare act is written the maximum penalty allowed under the law is $10,000 per infraction per animal. If they are going to lie about the animals they care for, then you cant trust the data that comes out of this," said Michael Budkie, executive director for Stop Animal Exploitation Now

So far USDA has not responded to SAEN's complaint. 

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