Home » News » Ohio State lab cited for inadequate veterinary care

Ohio State lab cited for inadequate veterinary care

Ohio State’s animal research laboratories are facing further investigation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture after a recent complaint about a cow that was cited for inadequate veterinary care prior to its euthanization.
The group, Stop Animal Exploitation Now, recently found an inspection report on the USDA’s website dated Nov. 20, said Michael Budkie, executive director of SAEN.
OSU has been cited with 16 violations from the USDA in the past year, not including the cow complaint.
The inspection was intended as a follow-up to a previous citation on Oct. 22 regarding a cow that was cited for inadequate veterinary care.
The November report indicated that the cow had been euthanized by the time of the second inspection.
Jan Weisenberger, senior associate vice president for research at OSU, said in an email that the cow was believed to have been ill upon arrival at the university and, during the October inspection, the USDA cited OSU because the decision to watch for any improvement was not documented in the paperwork for the animal.
After the cow’s health drastically declined, it was determined that the animal had chronic respiratory disease that would likely not respond to treatment. The decision was made to have the cow “put to sleep to prevent any needless suffering or distress.” Weisenberger said.
OSU did not receive a further citation on the issue during the November inspection because the USDA came to the conclusion that the veterinarian’s decision to euthanize the animal was “appropriate and documented,” Weisenberger said.
An SAEN press release reported that the USDA has withheld the original October report because OSU is allegedly disputing the inspector’s findings, but Weisenberger denied the claim.
Budkie said SAEN’s latest discovery with the November report is still alarming to the group.
“It’s obviously something that’s a serious concern because we’re now talking about an animal that’s dead,” Budkie said.
The cow issue came after SAEN filed a complaint with the USDA last week after discovering OSU had been cited for a total of 16 violations last year.
OSU was cited with violations during inspections in May and July. These violations included use of expired drugs on canines, inadequate veterinary care resulting in hair loss in half the grass rats, hamsters being housed at 46.4 degrees Fahrenheit, below the minimum of 60 degrees, inappropriate housing of 12 macaques, a species of monkey, unsanitary hamster procedure rooms and various plywood doors between animal stalls being significantly chewed, according to the May and July inspection reports.
Dave Sacks, USDA spokesman, said that because it’s early in the process, there is no available information regarding a subsequent inspection taking place at OSU. However, Sacks said the complaint filed by SAEN will be addressed.
“We always take them seriously,” he said. “At that point, it’s a question of we’re always going to want to look into the matter. We want to look into whatever was alleged on the complaint.”‘
The main objective of the department, Sacks said, is to ensure the welfare of the animals it regulates.
“For us, the goal is for every facility to be adhering to the regulations every day,” Sacks said. “If a facility adheres to those regulations, we know that at a minimum, the animals under their care are being treated humanely.”
One way OSU addresses USDA violations is through the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, which is a federally mandated group that, according to the IACUC website, “must be established by institutions that use laboratory animals for research or instructional purposes to oversee and evaluate all aspects of the institution’s animal care and use program.”
During the IACUC’s monthly meetings at OSU, the Compliance Subcommittee offers a report of issues at the laboratories, including any that have been discovered between USDA inspections. Minutes of the February meeting described an issue of overcrowded housing for the animals.
The April meeting minutes included a report on an unapproved procedure being performed and two incidents of inappropriate euthanasia procedures. This incident is not included in the 16 violations cited by USDA, and the university hasn’t faced any consequences from this report.
At the November meeting, members discussed the unsanitary conditions cited in the May USDA inspection report.
Sydney Palmer, a first-year student in exploration who volunteers with animal welfare organizations, said all animals should be respected.
“People, especially large universities with such a big name for themselves, need to realize that animals and humans are all a part of nature,” Palmer said. “I just think that no matter the creature, no matter the organism, we all need to respect other life forms, especially because Ohio State has such a big say in so many different areas and specializations.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.