Written by Jeff Mackey
Update: Based on PETA
complaints documenting abuse and neglect of animals in the University of Texas
Medical Branch at Galveston's laboratories, the U.S. Department of Agriculture
has taken the rare step of fining
the facility $9,143 for egregious violations of the federal Animal
Welfare Act—including failing to supply veterinary care to a sheep who had been
used in experimental back surgery and could not stand up, failing to supply
adequate veterinary care to a goat who died on an operating table, and failing
to supply post-procedural pain relief to three sheep used in experimental
Originally posted on May 24th:
We've told you previously how the University of Texas
Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston was cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) after PETA filed a complaint detailing the egregious abuse of animals in its laboratories. After obtaining internal documents revealing hellish
conditions for animals in laboratories at the facility, PETA filed another
complaint earlier this year—and now UTMB
has been cited for the second time in 15
months for flagrant violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including
failure to provide sick and injured animals with adequate veterinary care.
Following the initial successful complaint to the USDA (based
on information provided by a laboratory insider), PETA submitted a Texas Freedom of Information Act request to UTMB asking for
documents related to the treatment of animals in its laboratories. UTMB
initially tried to use various legal exemptions to avoid releasing the records,
but PETA's attorneys successfully argued the case, leading the Texas attorney general
to order UTMB to hand over the documents.
Those documents revealed neglectful treatment of animals
that had gone previously undetected by federal inspectors and that PETA
identified and communicated to the USDA in March 2012, prompting the agency to
cite UTMB for violations of federal law. The following are a couple of examples:
These heartbreaking stories show that animal experimenters—even
those at supposedly top-tier institutions like UTMB—can't be trusted to abide
by even the minimal standards of the Animal Welfare Act. As long as animals
continue to suffer in laboratories, PETA will continue to be vigilant in monitoring
what experimenters are doing. Animals in laboratories need each of us to stop the cruelty in laboratories at UTMB—and everywhere
urge Shriners International—which has funded UTMB's burn experiments on animals
for more than 30 years—to stop supporting this cruelty.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.