Written by Jeff Mackey
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has ordered the
University of Connecticut Health Center (UCHC) to pay more than $12,000 in fines for its cruel, incompetent—and sometimes fatal—treatment of animals, citing the
institution for 10 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) in its
laboratories between 2008 and 2010. Two of the citations in the penalty were the
result of a 2008 complaint
filed by PETA.
After PETA submitted information about archaic and deadly medical training exercises in which rabbits at UCHC had needles repeatedly
stabbed into their chests, the USDA found that the facility didn't properly
seek non-invasive alternatives nor did it adequately document how the animals were used. The other violations
for which UCHC was cited and fined include rabbit deaths caused by improper
anesthesia and poorly trained employees.
UCHC was previously fined $5,500 by the USDA in 2007 for AWA
violations, including injecting unapproved substances into a monkey's brain and
an incident in which a monkey was dragged so roughly by a metal collar that his
eyes bled. That penalty resulted from complaints filed by PETA Associate Director Justin Goodman, who was then a UConn grad
student leading a successful campaign to end experiments on primates at the
school. Not only were the experiments permanently shut down, but following a PETA
complaint, the laboratory was also ordered to return $65,000 in federal funding.
And that's not all: In 2001, UConn's main campus paid
$129,000 in USDA fines for 99 violations of animal welfare laws. You'd hope the
university would have learned its lesson by now, but as long as animals are suffering in school laboratories, PETA will be working to stop the violence.
Rabbits are frequent victims of animal experimenters because they are mild-tempered and easy to handle, confine, and breed—more than 241,000 of them are abused in U.S. laboratories every year.
Last year, the University of Connecticut's Health Center and
main campus received more than $63.5 million from the National Institutes of
Health, of which more than 40 percent will be spent on animal experimentation. Please
ask the federal government to stop funding cruel and antiquated animal experiments and to put your tax dollars
toward modern, humane, and superior research methods.
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.