- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 28, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - An animal rights watchdog group wants the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to permanently ban a team of researchers from experimenting on mice.

Ohio-based Stop Animal Exploitation Now called on the university to take action Tuesday, after the school self-reported a breach of research protocols in 2016, the Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/2t18xGY ) reported.

The demand stems from a university report to the National Institute of Health’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare regarding a dispute between researchers and a veterinarian over the timely euthanasia of mice used in a study. The researchers were conducting animal trials for an HIV vaccine with a nearly $460,000 grant from the institute.

An investigation found unauthorized individuals were participating in animal-related activities, research was being done in an unapproved lab and researchers failed to follow animal well-being and post-procedure guidelines.

“This kind of noncompliance should not ever be allowed to happen,” said Michael Budkie, co-founder of Stop Animal Exploitation Now. “The people involved in practices so scientifically shoddy and directly in conflict with federal practices should not be allowed back in the lab.”

A university spokesman said corrective and preventative measures are now in place to prevent breaches in protocol.

Budkie filed similar complaints against the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Creighton University. The complaints allege violations of the Animal Welfare Act administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center had a compliance issue that involved researchers implanting devices into more primates than they had received approval. A review of the incident found that animal welfare wasn’t jeopardized and the university responded correctly to the breach of compliance.

Creighton reported two incidents in 2016 where researchers failed to document a microswine operation. A spokeswoman for Creighton said the university has taken all necessary and appropriate steps to correct its error.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com


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