LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — A national watchdog group that monitors American research facilities for illegal activities and animal abuse has filed a federal complaint against the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL).
According to a press release from Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN), a previously unpublished report obtained by SAEN discloses that the university allegedly halted "four experimental projects because laboratory staff, including the Principal Investigator, failed to euthanize suffering animals for a week, and lied about it in falsified records."
SAEN said the university broke federal law — and as a result, they filed a federal complaint against the university's research administration due to the failure to euthanize animals as required, as well as a cover-up.
"Apparently staff not only failed to euthanize animals, allowing them to suffer with a serious pathological condition for an additional week, but they also moved the animals to hide them from UNL administration, and falsified records to avoid discovery of their illegal conduct," said SAEN's press release.
SAEN filed the complaint with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, alleging federal violations of Federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) regulations for Animal Handling, Veterinary Care & research supervision by the university's Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee.
Additionally, SAEN is seeking the maximum penalty allowable under the AWA — $10,000 per infraction/per animal.
“UNL staff not only abused animals, causing an additional week of totally unnecessary suffering, but the staff also lied about it,” said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., co-founder, SAEN. “The USDA should throw the book at these criminals.”
SAEN’s federal complaint is available here or below.
UNL released the following statement:
After discovering this incident, UNL’s Institutional Animal Care Program and its Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee responded swiftly to assure the proper protocols for the two mice involved were followed. The incident was timely reported to appropriate federal authorities. The University took firm action to prevent similar occurrences in the future.