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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 10Z

PHS self-reports 11A to 11Z

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.


Julie D said...

Where are these labs. I'd like to go there and steal all of the animals.

Rick Bogle said...

They are scattered all over the campus. The Ag School, the Vet School, the Medical School, the College of Letter and Science. The largest concentration of monkeys, about 2000 of them, are in the three buildings on N. Charter just off Regent. The Harlow Lab and the UW's Wisconsin National Primate Research Center.

Julie D said...

Rick, let's go get them and then take them to a sanctuary.

Rick Bogle said...

If only it were so easy.

Julie D said...

I know... I'm just wishing. I feel so helpless (and hopeless). Maybe we should call James Cromwell. ;)