Target: Tom Vilsack, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Goal: Issue a strong punishment to deter recurring instances of animal abuse in university laboratories
A federal animal cruelty complaint has been filed against laboratories at Yale University, a prestigious educational institution. The complaint alleges that over 30 animals died due to the negligence of laboratory staff in a one year period. The complaint attributes the deaths of one dog, 17 hamsters and 15 small rodents to the facility’s noncompliance with provisions laid out by the Animal Welfare Act.
According to documents presented to the United States Department of Agriculture, the dog died due to an oxygen tank malfunction during a procedure. The rodents, mastomys, died after being given an oral vaccine, while the hamsters died after staff failed to properly assess their statuses.
The Ivy League institution has been federally cited for animal abuse several times before this. In 2010, complaints were filed about severe burns found on baboons after an experiment, as well as the deaths of several more hamsters. Lax handling procedures lead to the escape of five primates from their enclosures, while improper use of equipment resulted in injury to the animals. In 2008 and 2009, violations of sanitary and safety regulations were cited, but caused no injury to the animals.
As such a prestigious institution, Yale should be making every effort to ensure the safety of the animals in its laboratories. Despite claims that its internal procedural review board exceeds federal standards, instances of cruel negligence have seemingly become routine at the institution. Your signature will demand that the USDA investigate all allegations of wrongdoing, and issue appropriate consequences and procedural changes if necessary.
Dear Tom Vilsack, United States Department of Agriculture,
A cruelty complaint was recently filed against Yale University for negligence and cruelty to animals in their laboratories. Over thirty animals died in a one year period- a dog, 17 hamsters, and 15 other rodents, all due to preventable factors such as equipment malfunction, improper handling, or breach of procedure. In previous years the institution has been cited for similar neglectful or cruel behavior, which has resulted in the escape, injury, or death of even more lab animals.
A respected institution such as Yale should uphold the finest animal welfare standards of any American education institution. I demand that the University and its staff be held accountable for their actions with appropriate punishments, which will deter further neglect in the future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: USDA via Creative Commons