Group questions animal experimentation practices

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A group monitoring research facilities for illegal activity and animal abuse is calling on the LSU System to to launch an independent investigation into the animal experimentation program.

Stop Animal Exploitation Now executive director Michael Budkie sent a letter to LSU President F. King Alexander on Tuesday.

The letter included documents revealing the Animal Care and Use Committee voted to suspend an experiment on rodents back in January 2018 at LSU Health Shreveport. The documents listed multiple reasons for suspension including that the experiments were being performed on Fridays with post-op on weekends without veterinary supervision, animals were being used for the same experiment twice and animal endpoints were not being adhered to.

After corrective action, records show that suspension was lifted. 

“The severity of the compliance issues and the lack of adequate supervision by the ACUC clearly indicate that major systematic issues exist. In the presence of this project, I cannot imagine that other LSU projects are fully compliant,” Budkie said in the letter to Alexander.

In the letter to LSU, Budkie asks for the following:

  1. “Permanently terminate all animal protocols associated with this P.I. These projects are forever questionable and must not move forward.
  2. Prohibit the publication of the results of this research, because since the protocol was not followed, the data is meaningless. This is also necessary due to the totally shoddy recordkeeping connected to this protocol.
  3. Return all funding received for this project to the funding source.
  4. Launch an independent investigation into the entire animal experimentation program at LSU.”

We reached out to a representative from LSU Health Shreveport. Here is the statement provided.

“LSU Health Shreveport (LSUHS) has been continuously accredited for 34 years by Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC), which is a voluntary assessment and accrediting organization. This sustained accreditation demonstrates the commitment by LSUHS to the highest regulatory, ethical and humane standards in the care of animals .  
The referenced non-compliant actions were discovered by our institution’s internal due diligence, and were self-reported to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The LSUHS Department of Animal Resources and our Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) investigated and established a thorough plan to address and correct the concerns, which OLAW and NIH reviewed and accepted.
“LSU Health Shreveport holds itself to the highest standards in animal care recognizing the vital roles animals have played in virtually every major medical advance of the last century,” LSU Health Spokesperson Lisa Babin said.
 

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