34th Anniversary of 1st Ever U.S. Animal Rights Arrests at UCD Marked by Admission
(From Press Release) – Nearly 34 years to the day after protestors – claiming animals were being tortured and killed – blocked research laboratories at the University of California, Davis regional primate center in the first mass arrests ever in the animal rights movement.
Fifteen people were arrested on April 24, 1984 and the protests and arrests spread nationwide. In 1987, suspected animal rights activists set a fire that caused $4.5 million of damage and destroyed a half built UCD research facility. The perpetrators were never caught.
Monday, UC Davis said it is negligently killing animals, admitting it happened and negotiating with the federal government to pay a $5,000 fine for one recent infraction, which violated the Animal Welfare Act, the only U.S. law that is supposed to protect laboratory animals.
A national research watchdog group – with a reputation of going head-to-head with similar research laboratories across the U.S. when they violate federal laws to protect animals – said UC Davis is guilty of many more animal deaths, and is lying to government regulators about it.
In fact, those claims by SAEN (Stop Animal Exploitation Now), which is based in Ohio, were heeded by the National Institutes of Health which responded Monday to a SAEN letter calling for the investigation by telling SAEN that an investigation had, in fact, been opened of UC Davis.
Earlier Monday, UC Davis said it had paid a $5,000 fine– which had been negotiated down to a lesser amount – for killing a rabbit. The admission proved that SAEN – and maybe those protestors in 1984 – may well be right: UC Davis is torturing and killing animals.
UC Davis statement: https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/uc-davis-settles-animal-welfare-citation
In a news release, SAEN charged that UC Davis may have “hidden even more NEW animal deaths from regulators.”
“Laboratories receiving federal funding are required (under PHS Policy, IV.F.3) to report all animal welfare related incidents to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare of the NIH. Under that federal law, all non-compliances discovered internally by the UCD administration should have been reported to OLAW, if only to inform them of remediation methods. But UCD apparently did not do so,” said SAEN.
SAEN said internal UCD documents that were never meant to be made public “reveal at least five late 2017 incidents involving animal deaths and injuries which were not reported to OLAW. According to the internal reports three mice, two rabbits and a cat died. A monkey and several dogs were unnecessarily injured.”
In a letter to the NIH, SAEN urged NIH/OLAW to launch a federal investigation of the cover-up, and revoke UCD’s Animal Welfare Assurance.
SAEN said revocation of UCD’s Animal Welfare Assurance would make the laboratory ineligible to receive federal funding, costing the facility $110 million in active NIH federal grants.
“The fine announced today is paltry, and has not deterred UC Davis from continuing to break the law,” said Michael Budkie, SAEN executive director. “This lab has killed multiple animals in the months immediately following the $5,000 USDA fine. Two more rabbits and a cat have died.”
“If there had been only one incident of non-compliance, it might be possible to assume that it was simply overlooked. However, there are five separate incidents, all of which are serious. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the University of California, Davis has engaged in a consistent and deliberate pattern of non-reporting. This is nothing short of an intentional cover-up,” said Budkie in his letter to Dr. Patricia A. Brown (Director of OLAW) and Dr. Francis Collins (Director of the NIH).
SAEN’s letter to the NIH and the relevant internal UCD reports – http://www.saenonline.org/media-University-of-California-Davis-NIH-Complaint-4-23-18.html