PETA Files Complaints After E-Mail Correspondence Indicates Apparent Violations of Animal-Welfare, Open Records Laws
For Immediate Release:
February 6, 2019
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Baton Rouge, La. – Armed with a whistleblower report and extensive e-mail evidence that Louisiana State University (LSU) purchased at least 70 live dogs from a Baton Rouge animal shelter last year for use by its School of Veterinary Medicine in lethal anatomy laboratories and possibly for other purposes, PETA has filed complaints today alleging that LSU violated both the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and Louisiana’s state open records law. Because this unlawful scheme may be ongoing, PETA is urging authorities to investigate immediately and assess the school a fine in the maximum allowable amount of $1,594,600.
E-mail correspondence between LSU staff and the management of the animal shelter, Companion Animal Alliance (CAA), reveals the details of many of the purchases, including LSU’s instruction that the dogs be transferred alive to the university because they needed to “be freshly dead, so we can put them down here with our drugs to help with timing.”
PETA submitted an open records request for LSU’s acquisition and disposition records for these animals, which the school claimed not to have—an apparent violation of federal recordkeeping requirements. The AWA strictly prohibits the university from purchasing live dogs or cats from any source not licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, so PETA is asking the agency to investigate the possibility that LSU didn’t maintain the required records because doing so would leave a paper trail leading back to its illegal conduct.
“LSU’s apparently shady deals and duplicitous recordkeeping are concealing how many homeless dogs may have died in its laboratories,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling on the school to come clean and stop purchasing live dogs and cats from local animal shelters for use in deadly training laboratories.”
PETA’s complaint to the Baton Rouge Parish district attorney also notes possible fraud by CAA, which publicly stated that at least some of the dogs acquired by LSU for deadly animal laboratories were “adopted” or “released”—a potential attempt to “improve” its statistics and mislead the public.
PETA’s complaints are available upon request.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.