OU Lab Under Fire For Electrocuting Dogs For Medical Research
NORMAN, Oklahoma - A University of Oklahoma Lab is under fire for electrocuting dogs for medical research. The USDA cited the lab for improper euthanasia and not using proper anesthesia.
SAEN, an animal advocate group, says with those violations, it's possible the animals felt the pain while they were killed.
"Electrocuting animals is barbaric," said Michael Budkie, Executive Director of SAEN.
Budkie is calling for a full federal investigation into the operations at OU Health Sciences Center.
The OU Lab was first exposed when the USDA issued two citations in August.
"This simply never should have happened," Budkie said.
Budkie said the researcher and the university should have known better. He provided USDA inspection reports that show the lab violated the animal welfare act by electrocuting. The lab is also in violation for not using proper anesthesia during the procedure.
A combination, Budkie believes would have left the animals tortured, feeling the pain of the electrocution.
"The people of this country expect them at the very least to follow the guidelines that currently exist for the use of animals," Budkie said.
SAEN also accused the lab of using former family pets for research, but reports validate such accusations.
In a statement, the university admitted the USDA did cite the lab for two cases.
Gary White, Division of Comparative Medicine Director said, in part, "on a recent USDA inspection they stated a preference for a different protocol which involves the injection of an anesthetic, which the OUHSC has adopted."
White did not indicate what type of research they were conducting at the time of the violation but said," the University has directed that great care should be taken to ensure that all future injections are appropriate."
Budkie argued the statement given by OU is not consistent with what a federal agency, the USDA, determined. He feels research should be halted until an investigation is complete.
Inquiries about a possible USDA investigation were unsuccessful due to the government shutdown.