Feds find only minor infractions at U. animal labs
PETA probe » USDA and NIH follow-up inspection of operations give good grades.
By Christopher Smart
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 04/22/2010 09:13:13 PM MDT
Despite a list of cruelty allegations compiled by an animal rights group, federal officials have found, for the most part, that University of Utah biomedical laboratories operate ethically and in accordance with U.S. regulations.
An official inspection of the university's animal research laboratories earlier this year did turn up some infractions, the most egregious of which was a kitten that died after an improper injection.
Other notable deviations from protocol included a primate near the end of life that was not afforded a companion, and "intermittent overcrowding" of rodent breeding cages.
But overall, inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found the university's animal research programs to be "in good order."
That's a stark contrast to a complaint filed last fall with the USDA by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Read More
In an effort to get a big splash in the media, groups like PETA have to make wild accusations that generate headlines. Unfortunately for them, when the sensationalism stops and the investigation begins the story is usually different. In this case, there were a few things that weren’t done correctly but for the most part they were doing everything right. I have no doubt that the university will quickly correct their mistakes and continue on with their vital research. It certainly isn’t a reason to stop all animal research like PETA suggested.