Animal Groups Call For Lab Probe


SAN ANTONIO, An animal rights watchdog group says it wants a new U.S. Department of Agriculture probe into monkey deaths at a nationally known research lab.

In a release, the group, Stop Animal Exploitation Now, also calls for an Inspector General's investigation of the conduct of the Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service regarding the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in San Antonio.

SAEN says previous USDA reports revealed primates have died at the Texas lab from dehydration and hypothermia, while others have simply been "found dead" -- possibly without veterinary care -- after suffering from serious disease conditions that include temperatures up to 105 degrees.

Documents show discrepancies in reporting to two different regulatory agencies, suggesting fraud within the lab, SAEN claims.

"Both the management of the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research and the agencies responsible for enforcing federal laws are apparently asleep at the wheel regarding this lab," Michael A. Budkie, SAEN executive director, said.


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