For eight months we have been making formal public records requests to the University of Wisconsin - Madison. We have been asking for specific records related to Michele Basso's inept surgical methods, her history of defying campus veterinarians, and the suffering and deaths in her labs that has bothered even those inured by constant exposure to the suffering in the university's labs, like the head campus veterinarian.
We still don't have them. Stonewalling is a way of life for Rick Lane, associate director of UW's Research Animal Resources Center whose mission in life appears to keeping the labs' ugly secrets out of the public eye. He'll probably get a handsome bonus this year.
But, the university apparently turned over a "binder" of records on this matter to the Wisconsin State Journal today, and it is rumored that the story is slated to come out on Friday.
It will be interesting to see how the paper handles this and whether their documents jive with the few we do have.
For the record, we tried to call media's and the public's attention to Basso's butchery five years ago, but in the wake of the Terasawa disclosures, media was suffering itself from vivisection fatigue.
The Basso affair puts the lie to the claim that the oversight is meaningful, that the animals are respected, or that the researchers rely on healthy animals... apparently, many of Basso's publications are based on data from animals with significant infections and much unrelieved trauma.
And, it now appears that Basso is looking for work elsewhere; I imagine she will get a rosy recommendation.
And, Basso is one of the people who determine whether other people's experiments should be funded.