'We should all be upset:' UMD cited after animal deaths discovered at research labs
Media Coverage About SAEN Stop Animal Exploitation Now



Dr. Robert Gibbens
Director, Animal Welfare Operations, USDA-APHIS
[email protected]
[email protected]

Please levy the MAXIMUM FINE against University of Maryland, College Park, for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act which killed several cows. Their behavior should NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.


'We should all be upset:' UMD cited after animal deaths discovered at research labs

From Scott Taylor, WJLA.com, August 12, 2021

[Watch Michael Budkie on VIDEO HERE]

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (7News) — The University of Maryland was issued a critical citation of the Animal Welfare Act by the USDA last year, the 7News I-Team has learned after several animal deaths were discovered at its research labs. In one incident, a guinea pig didn't receive any post-op pain killers during a 2019 experiment and another was wasn't monitored for two days after surgery and had to be euthanized.

Stop Animal Exploitation Now or SAEN for short is exposing the USDA violation through a Freedom of Information Act request.

We should be all upset over this even if we don't’ care about animals because these are things that we are paying for with our federal tax dollars,” says Michael Budkie A.H.T, the Executive Director of Stop Animal Exploitation Now.
SAEN also uncovered other disturbing issues including one in 2019.

“There were a number of cows being used in a mastitis study and they became very seriously ill to the point that two of them died,” says Budkie.

A year earlier a horrific discovery.

“University of Maryland staff came in on the date you mentioned and found 76 mice were dead,” adds Budkie.

University Police investigated and found someone entered the lab and euthanized the animals, but a suspect was never tracked down.

Finally, a former UMD Assistant Professor of Veterinary Medicine agreed last year to three years of research supervision after being cited for research misconduct in seven publications and two grants by the U.S. Department of Health and Humane Services Office of Research Integrity.

UMD declined our request for an on-camera interview but did email a statement:

The humane and ethical care and use of animals in research are of the utmost importance to us. The University of Maryland endeavors at all times to uphold and adhere to the regulations and requirements as mandated by the federal government and our accreditation body. These requirements are implemented through our Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, which includes scientists, veterinarians, non-scientists, and members of the community, who work hard to ensure that the health and welfare of all animals involved in research and teaching are of the highest priority.

The issues raised by SAEN were all voluntarily self-reported by UMD to federal agencies. We take immediate action on any issue related to animal health and welfare and follow up with additional corrective actions, which can include retraining, procedural changes, changes in the animal facility, or other components of the program.

We maintain ongoing accreditation with the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, the gold standard of animal care.

University Statement on Research Integrity
We remain committed to the highest standards of research integrity. We promote honesty, accuracy and objectivity in scholarly work and require reporting suspected abuse of any of these standards.
I-Team Investigative Reporter asks, “Aren’t these a bunch of red flags flying in the front of the people in charge of the University of Maryland saying something is going on?”

“Well, they certainly should be. To give you an idea The Office of Research Integrity only came out with a total of 10 cases of research misconduct during all of 2020. Two of the 10 were at University of Maryland locations,” says Budkie.

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