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Press Releases

  Report: Violations of Federal Laws Skyrocketing as USDA Refuses to Act; Agency Complicit in Lab Scandal Says Watchdog Group

Monday, March 12, 2007
Contact: Michael Budkie (513) 575-5517, (513) 703-9865 (cell)

Washington, DC – The United States Department of Agriculture under the Bush Administration is refusing to enforce federal laws governing biomedical research leading to an increasing number of violations and a growing scandal, charged a national research watchdog organization.

An NGO White Paper released today reveals that the Animal Welfare Act was violated by 3160 times by laboratories in 2006, while the USDA is complicit in the law breaking by refusing to take meaningful enforcement actions.

"As violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) by research facilities have increased to a record level of 3160 offenses for one year, USDA enforcement of the AWA has been utterly ineffective," said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director of Cincinnati-based SAEN. “The worst laboratories continue to violate federal laws with impunity.”

Statistics within recently-obtained government documents reveal that violations of the AWA by laboratories have increased 90.5% within the last five years, reaching an all-time high.

Major areas of offenses include veterinary care and institutional animal care & use committees.

More than ¾ of all labs violate the law every year, and the Animal Welfare Act is violated almost 9 times per day by research facilities.

“Major laboratories thumb their noses at the USDA every day,” added Budkie. “So it is time for the private sector to do what the USDA can’t.”

SAEN is announcing a program of independent audits of laboratories based on public records and voluntary inspections. “We have already obtained thousands of pages of documentation from major laboratories across the U.S.,” said Budkie. Our findings will begin to be released in coming months.”

The NGO SAEN has also requested government reports for all 1100 registered research facilities as well as all class B animal dealers from the USDA with the intention of publicizing the conditions which the USDA refuses to correct.

The SAEN white paper is available upon request.


See: National Trends in Animal Welfare Act Violations by Laboratories

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