Media Coverage About SAEN Stop Animal Exploitation Now

Animal Rights Group Files Complaint Against SD Animal Lab



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

Please launch a full investigation of Sanford Health’s animal experimentation, especially incidents around the banning of an investigator from all animal use, twice. Their behavior should NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.


Animal Rights Group Files Complaint Against SD Animal Lab

From, July 27, 2022 

An animal rights organization filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture asking for an investigation into a Sanford Research scientist. The complaint from Stop Animal Exploitation Now was filed by the group after it obtained a document showing that privileges to perform experiments on animals by Shanta Messerli had been permanently revoked. A letter from Sanford Research to the USDA’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare indicated Messerli’s privileges were revoked in January 2021. After an appeal to the Sanford Research Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, her privileges were restored to perform two specific experiments under direct supervision.

But the letter, signed by David Pearce, the president of innovation and research for Sanford’s World Clinic, said Messerli received a subsequent report of noncompliance while conducting an experiment with funding from the Department of Defense. The USDA has the authority to regulate animal research laboratories. The self-reported letter from Sanford Research to USDA was dated May 2. A Sanford spokesperson did not immediately respond for comment. The USDA did not immediately respond. 

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