Thursday, October 8, 2020

Kids or Monkeys?

An essay I wrote in 1998-ish

Ending Child Poverty

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 181.6 million underweight pre-school aged children among the world’s developing nations. WHO estimates there are 210.5 million stunted pre-school aged children and 46.1 million wasted pre-school aged children living in the world’s developing nations.

The World Health Organization summarizes its concerns, “Our findings confirm the great magnitude of undernutrition which, more than any other disability, continues to hamper the physical growth and mental development of more than a third of the world's children. Indeed, it is a major threat to their very survival.” [emphasis added]

The National Center for Children in Poverty at the Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University reports that,

The number of American young children living in poverty increased from 3.5 million in 1979 to 5.2 million in 1997. The young child poverty rate grew by 20 percent during that same period.

22 percent of young children in America live in poverty, i.e., in families with incomes below the federal poverty line ($12,802 for a family of three in 1997).

Researchers have gathered new evidence on the importance of the first years of life for children's emotional and intellectual development. (Shore, 1997) Unfortunately, millions of American children are poor during these crucial years. Almost one in four (24 percent) of America's children under age three lived in poverty in 1995. These 2.8 million poor children face a greater risk of impaired brain development due to their exposure to a number of risk factors associated with poverty.

Children deprived of proper nutrition during the brain's most formative years score much lower on tests of vocabulary, reading comprehension, arithmetic, and general knowledge. The more severe the poverty a child faces, the lower his or her nutritional level is likely to be.

Exposure to neurotoxins such as lead causes brain damage and stunts the growth of the brain. 55 percent of African American children living in poverty have toxic levels of lead in their blood.

Experiences of trauma or abuse during the first years of life result in extreme anxiety, depression, and/or the inability to form healthy attachments to others. Another troubling effect of early trauma is that it leads to a significantly higher propensity for violence later in life. The stressors that face poor families cause much more trauma for their children.

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

Reduce the Poverty Rate, says the National Center for Children in Poverty.

World Vision is the largest child sponsorship organization in the world according to their current television campaign to raise money for children in poverty. Spokespersons Kathy Lee Gifford and Alex Trebek tell viewers that $22 a month in donations will give one child living in poverty the food they need to have a chance for healthy development.

The Christian Children’s Fund asks for only $0.80 per day, or $24 a month to lift a child from hunger.

Feed the Children, an organization dedicated to feeding the most impoverished children in America, says they can move 1000 pounds of food for a donation of only $10 a month.

Look at these figures from another perspective. David Amaral, a researcher at the California Regional Primate Research Center in Davis, California and Ned Kalin, a researcher at the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center in Madison, Wisconsin received a combined total of $579,487 tax dollars in 1998. They were paid to inject chemicals into the brains of young monkeys. These chemicals were injected into the region of the brain associated with basic emotions such as fear.

This means that approximately 724,359 children were left in poverty last year so that Amaral and Kalin could study methods of disrupting normal emotional development in monkeys.

In 1997 the National Institutes of Health spent $114,502,974 to keep researchers at the seven Regional Primate Research Centers working at projects like Kalin's and Amaral's. Researchers worked to clone monkeys, addict them to cocaine, poison them with alcohol, infect them with monkey viruses, and study why so many monkeys in laboratories mutilate themselves. This $114 million was only a portion of the total spent by the federal government to experiment on primates. Most major universities have projects using primates underway. It would not be unreasonable to estimate that the total figure used in this line of research is today approaching $200 million dollars.

But, using the 1997 figures and using only the total consumed by the seven NIH centers that year, about 143 million children who could have been saved were left in poverty. So, these scientists could achieve no larger impact than demanding that the primate centers be closed immediately and the money allocated to them be immediately targeted to end the ravishes of child poverty. By simply closing the primate centers stunting and wasting could be nearly eliminated among the world's children.

And, by closing only one primate center, child poverty in the U.S. could be ended.

What the researchers will do remains to be seen.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

A Deafening Silence

Peta recently released videos taken by an undercover investigator working as an animal care technician at the Wisconsin National Primate Resarch Center, a part of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The university was outraged.

But why should they have been angry if, as they are wont to say, the animals they use are all well treated? Informed observers will recognize that their outrage is really nothing more than embarrassment. The people who work in the labs don't want outsiders seeing what they do, seeing the animals' bleak cages, seeing the suffering our tax dollars pay for. They don't want their neighbor knitting their brow when they seem them.

The university has a long history of doing everything in its power to keep us from learning what is going on in its labs. In this regard, they are just like every other animal lab in the world. They all operate in the same way.

A Deafening Silence

[originally published in Primate Freedom Project’s Fall, 2006 issue of The Congressional Educator]

Scientific advancement often arrives as a stunning discovery. But stunning discoveries are the result of years of accumulated data. Any loss of this accumulated knowledge could be irreplaceable. The willful destruction of years of accumulated data is a crime against science and humanity itself.

Yet, when the University of Wisconsin-Madison destroyed sixty boxes of videotapes of its experiments on monkeys, the absence of outrage from the academic community was deafening.

Worse, the tapes were destroyed to stop people from learning what was occurring in the university’s labs. So, not only were years of accumulated observation and records lost forever, but also, the destruction was motivated by the university’s fear of an educated citizenry.

How did this happen?

Scientific American published a special edition titled “The Hidden Mind” on August 31, 2002. On page 72, there was a revised version of a 1993 Scientific American article titled “The Neurobiology of Fear” written by Dr. Ned Kalin, a primate vivisector and chairman of the university’s Department of Psychiatry. [Kalin is still the Chair]

In the article, Kalin explained that monkeys from a few days old up to twelve weeks old were separated from the mothers and subjected to three fear-inducing conditions and that the events were videotaped.

We wrote to the university requesting copies of these videotapes under authority of Wisconsin’s open records statute. Our requests were ignored. Under a different name, we again requested copies of the videos a few months later and finally received a denial of our request.

In 2005, we read a paper written in 2000, by Ruth Benca, a psychiatrist at UW-Madison [now at UC Irvine], Ned Kalin, and others in the journal Brain Research, titled “Effects of amygdala lesions on sleep in rhesus monkeys.” Benca et. al. explained that monkeys who had been used in Kalin’s experimental brain mutilations were strapped into restraint chairs overnight. Some of these monkeys were videotaped throughout the night.

Through a local attorney, we wrote to the university requesting copies of these videotapes. Shortly thereafter, in a letter dated December 13, 2005, senior UW legal counsel John Dowling formally denied our request.

We were able to interest a local weekly newspaper in this problem. The news editor, Bill Lueders, is also president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council. When Mr. Lueders requested the tapes he was told: “They may have been damaged in a plumbing accident.”

In a letter to the newspaper dated July 6, 2006, Downing stated: “The videotapes and photographs in question were damaged, along with other data, when a steam valve broke on 1/18/05 releasing water and steam into the storage area. After the required time to keep these data had elapsed, they were destroyed.”

The newspaper reported: “But the UW provided no information as to what was damaged, or how badly. ‘I don’t know,’ says Dowling, when asked if the damage made it impossible to view the tapes. He also doesn’t know what his own letter means in saying that the tapes were destroyed ‘after the required time.’ He assumes this language, provided by others, refers to some records retention schedule.”

In our April request, we noted that the Wisconsin open records law prohibits the destruction of a requested record at least 60 days after access is denied. The tapes were destoyed 62 days after Dowling’s denial of the newspaper’s request. A record provided by the UW to the paper stated that 60 boxes of videotapes had been shredded on February 13, 2006.

A system completely out of balance

If activists had gained entry to the facility and had destroyed the tapes, it is likely that the university would have loudly claimed that the cure for childhood cancer had been lost and that the people responsible were terrorists.

On May 23, 2006, another UW primate vivisector, Michelle Basso, another monkey brain mutilator [now at UCLA], testified before the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security in support of the Animal Enterprise Protection Act:

“I received a magazine to which I did not subscribe. Then I received a couple more magazines. I started to receive statements from magazine companies and other mail-order paraphernalia. I have a right o live free of fear.”

So, vivisectors want people who send them unwanted magazine subscriptions to go to jail, but at the same time, don’t want the public to know what is going on in the labs and feel perfectly justified in shredding boxes of primary data in order to keep the public in the dark.

The simple fact that the vivisection community has remained quiet about the loss of the primary data in the videotapes, and simultaneously lobbied for stiffer penalties for those who call attention to their activities should be sufficient reason to question any claims they might make.

If they are willing to shred data to keep it hidden from the public, why should anyone believe them when they claim that they are humane or that their research matters one whit? Their shrill complaints about being criticized and targeted by animal rights activists must be considered in the context of their refusal to open their labs to public inspection and the millions of taxpayer dollars they receive.

So it comes as little surprise that people concerned with how the animals are being treated will have to sneak in one way or another to see for themselves. And it comes as no surprise that when they do they will record what they see and and tell others about what they have seen. And it also comes as no surprise that the labs and their host institutons will make the absurd claim that it is in some way wrong for them to do so.

Friday, August 21, 2020

PHS self-report(s) 10A to ...

UW-Madison's
PHS self-reports
10A to ... [Note: this is the first report in series 10 and the most recently available. Additional reports in the series with be added as they become available.]


10A
5/8/2020

"... OLAW understands that a nonhuman primate received two challenges with simian immunodeficiency virus, though the protocol was approved for only one. No adverse effects were reported for the animal."

"The corrective action consisted of retraining the staff responsible.

"Based on its assessment of this explaination, OLAW understands that measures have been implimented to reduce the liklihood of a recurrance of this problem. While OLAW concurs with actions taken by the institution to comply with the PHS Policy, we note that it is imparative that staff is trained in advance of performing animal procedures, not as a remedial response after the noncompliance has occurred."

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Antness


In the early 1990s, I was making lots of compost. I have never been as content as I was when gathering material, tending the piles, sifting, giving away, and using my finished compost. The contentment I felt is very similar, maybe identical to, what I imagine an ant experiences when being an ant.

I've not read a huge amount about about ants, but two books I've found interesting and informative are E.O. Wilson's Ants and Deborah Gordon's Ants at Work.

Finding work that makes you content and doing that work is something I call antness. It is being in the groove, feeling comfortable and subtly fulfilled with the work.

I suspect this is how an ant feels as she scouts for food or helps excavate a new tunnel or chamber. It's a real pisser to be pulled away from that sense of contented work. Maybe this is part of the reason they get so angry when their nest is disturbed.

I still make compost, but not at nearly the same scale, and when I work in the garden, I have this nagging feeling that I ought to be writing something about the horible things being done to animals and why it's so screwed up and something about the sort of person who regularly hurts or kills others, or causes them harm by doing things that disturb others' piece of mind and interfere with them fulfilling their purpose.

Friday, April 24, 2020

And they wonder why some people question their motives.

The Guide [Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: Eighth Edition. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/12910] is the authority on what is and isn't allowed and on what is and isn't absolutely required when dealing with animals in biomedical research funded by the NIH and other federal agencies.

Here's the germane passage from page 35:

ANIMAL CARE AND USE PROGRAM

Disaster Planning and Emergency Preparedness

Animal facilities may be subject to unexpected conditions that result in the catastrophic failure of critical systems or significant personnel absenteeism, or other unexpected events that severely compromise ongoing animal care and well-being (ILAR 2010). Facilities must therefore have a disaster plan. The plan should define the actions necessary to prevent animal pain, distress, and deaths due to loss of systems such as those that control ventilation, cooling, heating, or provision of potable water. If possible the plan should describe how the facility will preserve animals that are necessary for critical research activities or are irreplaceable. Knowledge of the geographic locale may provide guidance as to the probability of a particular type of disaster.

Disaster plans should be established in conjunction with the responsible investigator(s), taking into consideration both the priorities for triaging animal populations and the institutional needs and resources. Animals that cannot be relocated or protected from the consequences of the disaster must be humanely euthanized. The disaster plan should identify essential personnel who should be trained in advance in its implementation. Efforts should be taken to ensure personnel safety and provide access to essential personnel during or immediately after a disaster. Such plans should be approved by the institution and be part of the overall institutional disaster response plan that is coordinated by the IO or another senior-level administrator. Law enforcement and emergency personnel should be provided with a copy of the plan for comment and integration into broader, are-awide planning [my emphasis] (Vogelweid 1998).

Call me naive, but I assumed that since the Guide said that law enforcement and emergency personnel would be provided with a copy of the plan, that the plan existed, that I could ask for a copy of it. I have to laugh. I'll never learn.

From the University of Wisconsin, Madison:
RE: PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST of 4/2/2020.
Reference #P001069-040220

Dear Requester,

The university received a public records request from you on 4/2/2020. You requested the following: "the university's disaster plan (the plan specified on pg 35 of The Guide.)"

Before we can begin the search for responsive records, we need clarification from you.We estimate that your request encompasses between 1,000 and 10,000 pages of documents. Many of these documents are not exclusive to the university’s research and teaching animal program because they cover emergency response to adverse events that impact university students, staff, visitors, property, and functions as well as research and teaching animals. If it is even possible to sort out all of the emergency response documents that address research and teaching animals, it is likely to take months and much staff time simply conduct such a search. Each record would then need to be reviewed at multiple levels to determine whether you are entitled to it under Wisconsin’s Public Records Law.

What? Between 1,000 and 10,000 pages of documents? How could "Law enforcement and emergency personnel should be provided with a copy of the plan for comment" get turned into somewhere between 1,000 and 10,000 pages of documents?

They did say though, at the end of their lament, that a summary plan was available. Hello? So I wrote back and said yes, to please send me the summary plan. No idea why they just didn't send it in the first place; I'm sure it will be captivating.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Hurting animals because that's just what they do


(There are no photos from either of the projects mentioned below.)

As I write this, there is "an adaptive, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of novel therapeutic agents in hospitalized adults diagnosed with COVID-19" underway. It will evaluate the use of a drug called Remdesivir as a treatment for COVID-19. "The study is a multicenter trial that will be conducted in up to approximately 75 sites globally." It is estimated that there will be about 440 patients enrolled in the study. More info here.

Remdesivir was originally developed by Gilead Pharmaceuticals to treat Ebola. It seems to have had mixed results. Monkeys were experimented on and killed during its development. Gilead is already in Phase 3 trials of Remdesivir as a treatment for COVID-19.

On April 17, 2020, I received a news release from NIH titled "Antiviral remdesivir prevents disease progression in monkeys with COVID-19." The NIH clinical trial's first patient was enrolled on February 21, 2020.

If the NIH and Gilead are already testing remdesivir in world-wide large human trials, why experiment on monkeys? Here's what the NIH says:
Early treatment with the experimental antiviral drug remdesivir significantly reduced clinical disease and damage to the lungs of rhesus macaques infected with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, according to National Institutes of Health scientists.

The study was designed to follow dosing and treatment procedures used for hospitalized COVID-19 patients being administered remdesivir in a large, multi-center, clinical trial led by NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)... The findings are not yet peer-reviewed and should not be considered clinical advice, but are being shared to assist the public health response to COVID-19.

There doesn't appear to be a reasonable or logical reason other than the fact that they could. Experimenting on animals is just what they do.

Here's the paper: Williamson, Brandi, et al. "Clinical benefit of remdesivir in rhesus macaques infected with SARS-CoV-2." bioRxiv (2020).

This passage caught my eye: "The animals were observed twice daily for clinical signs of disease using a standardized scoring sheet as described previously(10); the same person, who was blinded to the group assignment of the animals, assessed the animals throughout the study."

The scoring sheet they referenced, slightly modified in size and layout to fit here:

The chart paints numerous possibilities for suffering. There doesn't seem to be a justification for hurting and killing these animals in light of the large global carefully monitored clinical trial underway. It's telling that the clinical trial is loaded with patient safeguards while the monkey experiment was seemingly only wanted in order to document just how sick a monkey could be.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

"We advocate for an end to suffering."

The social distancing and widespread quarantine that has resulted in response to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak seems to had led to more people spending more time on social media. This has led to more arguments.

I commented that any reduction in our population as a result of the virus would be a good thing due to the detrimental impact we have on the planet and its other inhabitants. [See the two graphs below.] I was severely chastised by a somewhat well-known animal rights activist for saying this. In the course of our back and forth, my critic said that their work wasn't focused on other animals per se, but on trying to end suffering across the board. They said, "We advocate for an end to suffering."

I was struck by the polarity of our positions and assumptions.

The notion that suffering can be stopped strikes me as either naive or just ridiculous.

The number of species whose life cycles inevitably cause others to suffer is vast. Most, maybe every predator causes their prey some degree of suffering. Many, maybe most predators eat their prey while he, she, or they are alive and struggling. There are numerous parasites that must cause their hosts much suffering, like wasps who lay their eggs in caterpillars, or Cymothoa exigua, the tongue-eating louse which eats a fish's tongue and then lives its life attached to the inside of the fish's mouth.

The notion that the animal rights movement can or should even try to end suffering is naive or else merely ignorant and confused. The animal rights movement is about human ethics and morality. We can't end suffering, but we can change human behavior. Humans are not obligate carnivores or parasites; we can choose not to harm others, to leave them to their own devices, to protect their habitats, the water, the air, and the land. We can decide to acknowledge their right to live their lives free from our dominion and harm.



Monday, February 24, 2020

PHS self-reports 9A to 9Z

UW-Madison's
PHS self-reports
9A to 9Z

9A
2/25/2019

"... OLAW understands that a nonhuman primate received two challenges with simian immunodeficiency virus, though the protocol was approved for only one. No adverse effects were reported for the animal."[!]

"... OLAW understands that measures have been implemented to prevent recurrence of this problem."

9B
7/9/2019

"... OLAW understands that in late November 2018 while laboratory personnel were separating mice into new caging in a core facility [School of Medicine], they failed to remove a sticker that covered the outlet on one water bottle. The animals in that cage did not have access to water and two died mice died."

"... actions taken to resolve the issues and prevent recurrence were appropriate."

9C
4/23/19

"... OLAW understands that a monkey cage door had not been appropriately locked by staff and two animals escaped into the room. They fought with other monkeys in the room and one sustained a finger injury and one sustained a tongue injury. Another caged monkeys also sustained a tongue injury."

"... OLAW understands that measures have been implemented to correct and reduce the likelihood of a recurrence of this problem."

9D
4/23/2019

"... OLAW understands that due to misidentification of the tattoos, one of two paired of cynomolgus monkeys was subjected to unnecessary anesthesia and analgesia.

"... OLAW understands that measures have been implemented to prevent recurrence of this problem."

9E
4/9/2019

"... OLAW understands that two mouse pups in separate cages were found trapped between the wire lid and cage top. The mice had no access to water and one died. This incident occurred following weaning of the mice by laboratory staff."

"... OLAW understands that measures have been implemented to correct and prevent recurrence of this problem."

9F
6/17/2019

"... OLAW understands that six live neonatal mice were found in the carcass freezer due to a failure to ensure death after asphyxiation with CO2 for euthanasia. The required secondary physical method had not been used.

"... OLAW understands that measures have been implemented to correct and prevent recurrence of this problem."

9G
7/22/2019

"... OLAW understands that a marmoset sustained a broken femur during approved protocol manipulations."

"...OLAW understands that measures have been implemented to address this adverse event."

This event led to the the university being cited for a Critical violation of the Animal Welfare Act on 7/9 by USDA/APHIS. The marmoset seems to have struggle so intensely when being restrained while was being done to them that they broke their leg. The leg was injured to such a degree that it was amputated.

9H
6/17/2019

"... OLAW understands that following an approved eye procedure in a rabbit, no documentation was made regarding postprocedural monitoring or administration of analgesia."

"... OLAW understands that measures have been implemented to correct and prevent recurrence of this problem."

9I
6/17/2019

"... OLAW understands that 18 mice had escaped their cages by chewing through the hole for the water bottle. A research technician had removed the bottles to replace them but was gone for several hours.

The corrective action consisted of catching 16 mice and placing them in a clean cage or euthanizing them. Two mice were not captured."

"... OLAW understands that measures have been implemented to correct and prevent recurrence of this problem."

9J
Duplicate/"does not exist" per DHHS

9K
7/8/2019

"... OLAW understands that a veterinary technician observed a wound in an adult macaque and inadvertently documented this finding and treatment plan in the enclosure mate's medical record. As a result the wrong macaque received anti-inflamatory medication for two days which delayed treatment for the injured animal until the error was discovered. "

"... OLAW concurs with the actions taken by the institution and the IACUC to adhere to the PHS policy."

9L
7/8/2019

"... OLAW understands that an animal caretaker failed to properly lock an animal enclosure and a student animal caretaker responsible for checking the enclosure failed to identify the improperly attached lock. Three macaques sustained injuries that required veterinary intervention after two adult macaques exited their primary enclosure and after one of the two interacted with an animal still in his/her enclosure.

"... OLAW concurs with the actions taken by the institution and the IACUC to adhere to the PHS policy."

9M
7/17/2019

"... OLAW understands that five infant rhesus monkeys were subjected to behavioral tests at a different frequency than described in the approved protocol. The tests involved removing the infants from their mothers for one hour and conducting the testing. Conducting the tests three in a row rather than once per month resulted in better outcomes.

"The corrective action consisted in amending the protocol to reflect the actual testing schedule."

"... OLAW understands that measures have been implemented to correct and prevent recurrence of this problem."

Note: The correspondence in the case file describes a second violation left unremarked on by OLAW. The university reported: "... a veterinary technician inadvertently administered an incorrect dose of an anti-inflammatory (meloxicam) to an infant rhesus macaque after identification tattoos were place on its ears."

9N
7/17/2019

"... OLAW understands that a greater than approved dose of an anti-inflamatory agent was inadvertently given to an infant macaque.

"... OLAW understands that measures have been implemented to correct and prevent recurrence of this problem."

9O
12/10/2019

"... This Office understands that the SMPH IACUC determined that instances of noncompliance occurred with respect to: researchers use of expired buprenorphine on a group of mice during protocol-approved procedure.

"... OLAW understands that the University of Wisconsin-Madison has implemented appropriate measures to correct and prevent recurrences of this problem and is now compliant with provisions of the PHS Policy."

9P
10/28/2019

"... OLAW understands that in late August, 2019, an adult marmoset received an overdose of an anti-inflammatory agent due to an error by a veterinary technician."

"The prompt consideration of this matter by the University of Wisconsin - Madison was consistent with the philosophy of institutional self-regulation. Similarly, the actions taken to resolve the issue and prevent recurrence were appropriate."

9Q
10/28/2019

"... OLAW understands that on September 19, 2019, an adult rhesus monkey was injured in its cage by another rhesus that had escaped its enclosure. An animal caretaker had not placed a lock on one of the doors of the enclosure. The injuries required veterinary attention."

"The prompt consideration of this matter by the University of Wisconsin - Madison was consistent with the philosophy of institutional self-regulation. Similarly, the actions taken to resolve the issue and prevent recurrence were appropriate."

9R
10/28/2019

"... OLAW understands that on August 28,two macaques sustained injuries that required veterinary attention after they removed the divider separating their home enclosures. The incident occurred after two animal caretakers had not placed a lock on the divider...".

"The prompt consideration of this matter by the University of Wisconsin - Madison was consistent with the philosophy of institutional self-regulation. Similarly, the actions taken to resolve the issue and prevent recurrence were appropriate."

9S
12/11/2019

"... This Office understands that the SMPH IACUC determined that instances of noncompliance occurred with respect to administration of a compound, fisetin, to a group of mice prior to protocol approval.

"... OLAW understands that the University of Wisconsin-Madison has implemented appropriate measures to correct and prevent recurrences of this problem and is now compliant with provisions of the PHS Policy."

9T
12/16/2019

"... OLAW understands that a rhesus monkey escaped its cage because it had not been properly locked. The monkey fought with another one and both sustained mild injuries."

"... OLAW understands that measures have been implemented to correct and reduce the liklihood of a recurrance of the problem."

9U
12/16/2019

"... OLAW understands that an infant rhesus monkey was given an expired antibiotic for four days for diarhea."

"... OLAW understands that measures have been implemented to correct and reduce the liklihood of a recurrance of the problem."

9V
3/2/2020

"... OLAW understands that mice were given an antibody not described in the approved protocol and two mice died and one required euthanasia."

"The corrective actions consisted of stopping administration of the antibody, amending the protocol to include the anitbody at a reduced dose from what had been been given, and retraining laboratory staff on protocol compliance.

"... OLAW understands that measures have been implemented to correct and prevent recurrance of this problem."

9W
3/10/2020

"... OLAW understands the following about the incidents and the corresponding corrective actions:

A transport cage was not fully secured on a lift which allowed the rhesus monkey to escape and fight with other monkeys resulting in injuries.

Corrective action: The injured animnals were treated and the lift was altered to make it more stable.

An animal care taker failed to provide water to a rhesus monkey on two consecutive days. No adverse clinical signs were noted.

Corrective action: The caretaker was retrained on appropriate provision of water."

"... OLAW understands that measures have been implemented to correct and prevent the liklihood of a recurrance of these problems."

9X
3/9/2020

[Duplicate of 9W]

9Y
3/13/2020

"The Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) acknowledges receipt o[-your February 26, 2020 letter reporting an instance of noncompliance with the PHS Policy on humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. According to the information provided, OLAW understands that 36 mice died after being infected with a wild-type herpes virus (HSV-l). It was determined that a mathematical error was made in the dosing calculations resulting in the animals receiving a higher dose than intended, The remaining 64 animals on the study were euthanized due to the compromised experiment. The animals were supported by an NW grant.

The lab has instituted new preventive measures wherein no single person can infect animals without confirming with the PI that their dosing calculations are correct and that the stocks of virus being used have been properly diluted."

9Z
5/8/2020

"OLAW understands that two marmosets were given an experimental drug orally although the approved protocol stated that the intravenous or intramuscular route would be used. [The drug was Tacrolimus. It was first approved in 1994. RB]

"OLAW understands that measures have been implimented to correct and prevent recurrance of this problem."

Monday, January 20, 2020

UW-Madison's Self-Reported Animal Welfare Violations

These pages are a set of links to correspondence between the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) concerning violations of the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

NIH/OLAW rarely inspects laboratories. NIH/OLAW's oversight is primarily a matter of talking to a lab's representatives on the phone and responding to letters from them reporting on their violations and what they did in response.

PHS self-reports 3N to 3Z

PHS self-reports 4A to 4Z

PHS self-reports 5A to 5Z

PHS self-reports 6A to 6Z

PHS self-reports 7A to 7Z

PHS self-reports 8A to 8Z

PHS self-reports 9A to 9Z

PHS self-reports 10A to ...



The lists are ordered by OLAW Case Number; in some instances the date on the OLAW response letter is out of sequence. Brief excerpts from OLAW's response letter are provided; a review of each file will provide additional detail. A handful of the reports are missing in my records. If I get them, I will put them in their appropriate spot in an effort to complete the record.

The entries are listed in this fashion:

OLAW Case Number
Date of OLAW response
OLAW's summary
OLAW's resolution

All laboratories using vertebrate animals in Public Health Service-funded research are required to periodically submit a document to NIH promising to adhere to Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. This document is referred to as the entity's
"Animal Welfare Assurance." The correspondence is marked:

re: Animal Welfare Assurance
A3368-01 [OLAW Case Number]

A3368-01 is the University of Wisconsin, Madison's PHS Assurance number.

It is hard to find evidence of meaningful oversight in this correspondence because similar accidents, screw-ups, and violations occur repeatedly, and in every case OLAW answers with some version of: "OLAW understands that measures have been implemented to correct and prevent recurrence of this problem."

It might be a coincidence, but a few months after I began publishing these reports they were fined $74,000 by the USDA's Animal Care division of its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS-AC) for years of violations. The settlement letter cites many of the instances in the reports. It makes me wonder, if I hadn't made these reports public, would APHIS-AC have ever taken notice of the problems? The dirth of citations in recent past APHIS inspections suggests that they wouldn't have. Read the USDA's final decree.

PHS self-reports 3N to 3Z


UW-Madison's
PHS self-reports
3N to 3Z


3N
4/11/2012

"... OLAW understands that on sixteen occasions anesthesia recovery records for nonhuman primates were not completed promptly or correctly and animals were not being checked regularly."

"... OLAW is satisfied that appropriate actions have been taken to investigate, correct, and prevent recurrence of the noncompliance."

3O
4/11/2012

"... OLAW understands that thirteen mice received a higher dose of an experimental drug than described in the approved protocol over a period of several days."

"... OLAW is satisfied that appropriate actions have been taken to investigate, correct, and prevent recurrence of the noncompliance."

3P
4/11/2012

"... OLAW understands that [10] mice failed to receive post-operative analgesics as described in the approved protocol."

"... OLAW is satisfied that appropriate actions have been taken to investigate, correct, and prevent recurrence of the noncompliance."

3Q Missing

3R Missing

3S
4/11/2012

"... OLAW understands that a female rhesus macaque with infant had been left in a transport cage for an undetermined amount of time (1 day or more) following the conduct of an approved blood draw."

"...OLAW understands that measures have been implemented to correct and prevent the occurrence of this problem."

3T
4/30/2012

"... OLAW understands that a total of 45 adult and juvenile mice drowned after their cages filled with water due to an improperly docked cage which caused continuous activation of the lixit. Human error involving a different individual from the same laboratory caused the same problem previously..."

"...OLAW understands that measures have been implemented to correct this problem."

3U Missing

3V
4/17/2012

"... OLAW understands that two nonhuman primates on an approved fluid regulation study failed to receive their minimum daily fluid allotment on numerous occasions…. Also, a student working with the primates was not listed on the protocol."

"... OLAW is satisfied that appropriate actions have been taken to investigate, correct, and prevent recurrence of the noncompliance."

3W
4/18/2012

"...OLAW understands the following about the incidents and the corresponding corrective actions: 1) A marmoset was used in a terminal profusion although this had not been described in the approved protocol. 2) An anesthetized cynomolgus monkey undergoing an approved MRI procedure sustained skin burns on its legs from the warming bags used to maintain body. 3) A rhesus monkey failed to receive water due to a miscommunication between research and animal care staff. 4) Blood samples were taken from a cynomolgus monkey although the approved protocol only described the procedure for a rhesus monkey."

"... OLAW is satisfied that appropriate actions have been taken in all three instances to investigate, correct, and prevent recurrence of the noncompliance."

3X
4/17/2012

"... OLAW understands that a water pipe froze and burst in an animal building and flooded 25 rooms. Some animals became wet but none sustained injuries or died."

"... OLAW understands that measures have been implemented to correct and prevent the occurrence of this problem."

3Y
3/13/2011

"… OLAW understands that the Letters and Science Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) did not conduct the fall 2011 semiannual facility inspection at a remote facility due to a failure to schedule a consultant to conduct the visit."

"... OLAW is satisfied that appropriate actions have been taken in all three instances to investigate, correct, and prevent recurrence of the noncompliance."

3Z
4/11/2012

"... OLAW understands that a cow used in a teaching protocol was subjected to a Caesarean section surgical procedure that had not been described in the approved protocol."

"... OLAW is satisfied that appropriate actions have been taken to investigate and prevent recurrence of the noncompliance."