Former UW Vet Says Lab Violated the Law

Published by Michelle Kretzer.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW) should be cited for violating the Animal Welfare Act. That’s the verdict of the veterinarian who oversaw the treatment of Double Trouble and other cats who were subjected to cruel brain experiments at UW. Attending veterinarian Dr. Richard “Jim” Brown agrees with PETA’s allegations that laboratory staff failed to give cats proper anesthesia during surgery, failed to effectively address cats’ chronic head wound infections, and allowed other serious health problems to go untreated—all of which, Brown wrote, “expos[ed] the animals to unnecessary pain.” He explains how the intentional starving of the cats by experimenters in order to force them to cooperate caused severe weight loss and may have compromised their immune systems so that they couldn’t stave off infection.

Vet to USDA: Reopen the Case

Now, Dr. Brown has written to the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) expressing his disappointment that the agency did not cite UW after PETA filed an extensive complaint based on internal UW documents. He is also urging the agency to reopen its investigation.

I saw this research firsthand. Many of these cats suffered unnecessarily, and I made my concerns known to the principal investigator, colleagues and the UW-School of Medicine and Public Health [animal experimentation oversight committee] at the time. … I’m confident a second, focused review of the surgical records by [the USDA] would show the same concerns the veterinary staff observed during my time at Wisconsin, and during my later review of these medical records.

‘I Quit!’

You may recall that Brown resigned in 2010 after his concerns about the welfare of the animals were not properly addressed by UW faculty and staff. But even though he is no longer employed by the university, he is still speaking up for animals used in UW’s laboratories and demanding justice for the cats who were victims of the school’s alleged negligence and abuse.

What You Can Do

While PETA and Dr. Brown work to hold UW accountable, you can help ensure that no more cats suffer like Double Trouble did by asking the National Institutes of Health to cut its funding for UW’s cruel brain experiments.


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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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind