Watchdog lists WVU for animal neglect

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Watchdog lists WVU for animal neglect

By Andrew Hesner,, Saturday, December 27, 2014

MORGANTOWN — WVU ranked No. 3 on a watchdog’s recently released Top 10 Worst Negligent Research Animal Deaths in 2014 because a sheep was not properly euthanized in February.

Ohio-based Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! co-founder and Executive Director Michael Budkie said WVU made the list because the incident was “shocking” and “an example of negligence and incompetence.”

Budkie’s group submitted an electronic complaint with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Eastern Regional Office on July 21 and sought a $10,000 fine against the university.

Tonya Espinosa, a USDA spokeswoman, said WVU addressed the issue prior to the inspection, but the incident was still noted.

She said the USDA does not fine noncompliances on the spot, but if an entity is noncompliant, it is given a period of time to address the issue or issues. If the issues are not addressed, the USDA will open an investigation during which fines could be issued.

In WVU’s case, she said, WVU fixed the problem before the inspection; therefore an investigation was never opened.

According to the USDA inspection report, filed June 25, the sheep was not properly euthanized following a nonsurvival procedure.

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