Lab animal care & use updates
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2004:
Northwestern University, of Chicago, in December 2003
agreed to pay $9,400 to the USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection
Service in settlement of charges that it violated the federal Animal
Welfare Act from September 1998 to February 2003. Northwestern
allegedly “failed to establish and maintain programs of adequate
veterinary care” for laboratory animals, including keeping “complete
The USDA is reportedly still reviewing the results of an
August 2003 inspection of the Northwestern labs to see if the
deficiencies have been remedied.
The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Laboratory
Animal Welfare is separately probing animal care at Northwestern,
wrote Chicago Tribune higher education reporter Robert Becker.
Northwestern “received $325 million in sponsored research
funds last year,” Becker said.
Earlier in December, Staci Hupp of the Des Moines Register
disclosed that the Iowa State University veterinary school admitted
that it had filed insufficiently detailed animal use reports with the
USDA, but would not be penalized. The Association of Veterinarians
for Animal Rights recently complained to the USDA that Iowa State and
25 other vet schools had filed incomplete data.
Iowa state vet school director of laboratory animal resources
Joan Hopper told Hupp that the school had reduced animal use by
allowing students to practice surgery by sterilizing animals for
The University of California at Davis veterinary school
announced a similar policy in November 2003, and the U.C. San Diego
medical school quit requiring students to practice surgery on dogs,
although dog labs will still be offered on an elective basis.