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UW-Madison to Pay Fine in Animal Welfare Settlement
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 03/18/2014

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has agreed to pay a fine of more than $35,000 as part of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture after an investigation found the school violated parts of the Animal Welfare Act. Officials say the violations took place between 2007 and 2013, which led to seven different citations. Two of the violations directly affected animal welfare.

UW Research Animal Resources Director Eric Sandgren says the agency originally issued 44 citations, but dropped most of them. Some of the violations included procedural rules, such as failing to maintain facilities, failure to conduct daily observations of all animals, failure to keep a supervisor apprised of a sick gerbil that was put to sleep; and euthanizing a dog without informing the supervising veterinarian.

Another incident involved the failure to implement adequate retraining after a researcher left an oxygen valve on too long while sedating a pregnant monkey. Reports say the actual deaths or injury to several animals did not trigger the citations, but rather the university's handling of the cases.

Inspectors also found improperly labelled medication in two of the school's laboratories.

The university, which conducts hundreds of animal research projects daily, said the fine was about half of what USDA guidelines allow.

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