Media Coverage About SAEN Stop Animal Exploitation Now

Watchdog group urges USC to shut down animal research after new violations found

ACTION ALERT:

Michael Amiridis, President
University of South Carolina
[email protected]

President Amiridis:

You must end all animal experimentation at the University of South Carolina due to the continuing serious violations of federal regulations by USC staff. These illegal actions must not be allowed to continue!

 

Watchdog group urges USC to shut down animal research after new violations found

From Amanda Shaw, FoxCarolina.com, December 7, 2023

COLUMBIA, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A national watchdog group is once again calling for the University of South Carolina to stop all research experimentation on animals.

Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) obtained a copy of a noncompliance report filed with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare in August that says mice that were not assigned to a research protocol were exposed to a hazardous drug. The project, which is funded by the National Institute of Health, is aimed at better understanding some types of heart disease.

The report also says the research laboratory did not follow standard operating procedures for handling hazardous agents and the person who had contact with the cage was not authorized to do so.

USC self-reported the incident and said they were adding more required training for the lab.

“I am appalled that the USC IACUC did not take more severe action against the offending staff,” wrote SAEN Executive Director Michael Budkie in a letter to USC President Michael Amiridis on Tuesday. “Basic procedures were not followed and this not only potentially invalidated the project, but it also endangered USC staff. Incidents like this must be taken seriously, and the USC IACUC has clearly not done so.”

Budkie has long been calling for USC to end all animal experimentation, ramping up efforts after a report released earlier this year showed cocaine-addicted rats in one protocol were electroshocked for an unapproved amount of time.

In another incident in August, USC self-reported that a mouse was found in a carbon dioxide euthanasia device, still alive. The mouse was then euthanized.

The lead researcher told officials her employee also uses cervical dislocation, or severing the spinal cord from the skull, as a second method of euthanasia after carbon dioxide. USC’s Office of Research Compliance said the secondary method of euthanasia was not in the approved protocol.

FOX Carolina has reached out to USC for comment on the letter and is awaiting a response. USC is accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International.

“If USC staff cannot follow federal regulations, they should not be allowed to use animals,” Budkie wrote to Amiridis.

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