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UW-Madison reports more animal research incidents, group says in complaint

UW-Madison reports more animal research incidents, group says in complaint

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UW-Madison Bascom Hall

UW-Madison, which was fined $74,000 this year by a federal agency for 28 violations of federal animal research treatment standards from March 2015 to April 2019, later reported four similar incidents, according to a complaint filed this week.

The four recent incidents, reported to federal authorities by the university from October through February, also violate the federal Animal Welfare Act, the group Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!, or SAEN, said in a complaint filed Monday with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The new incidents appear to violate the same animal-handling regulation involved in 22 of the violations leading to the $74,000 fine in the spring, SAEN, based in Milford, Ohio, said in a statement.

According to UW-Madison reports to authorities that SAEN included in its complaint, the four recent incidents involve injuries to five primates that escaped their enclosures or fought with other primates.

University spokeswoman Kelly Tyrrell said it’s up to the USDA to determine if the incidents are federal violations.

“We file reports of all incidents involving animal injuries with the National Institutes of Health for NIH-funded research,” Tyrrell said in a statement. “The USDA may choose to review these reports and other records when conducting an unannounced inspection of UW–Madison facilities, but it is up to them to make any such determination.”

The university “will continue to examine and improve its procedures and equipment so that the vital animal research conducted here can continue without incidents in which animals are injured,” she said.

In the 28 violations leading to the $74,000 fine, at least a dozen animals sustained injuries that required amputations of their fingers, toes or portions of their tongues, including an incident as recent as April 2019.

UW-Madison previously paid the USDA a more than $35,000 fine in 2014 for animal research-related violations.

The university has a large animal research program, with about 7,000 people certified to work with animals in nearly 50 facilities.

UW-Madison has about 7,000 people certified to work with animals in nearly 50 facilities.

UW-Madison has about 7,000 people certified to work with animals in nearly 50 facilities.

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