WSU accused of animal deaths, abuse

This is the university’s eighth accusation related to animal mistreatment

YASMEEN WAFAI, Evergreen assistant editor

An animal rights group called WSU a “criminal laboratory” after it received documents it claims contain evidence of negligence toward animals by the university.

One of the incidents in the documents involved a group of infant bats that developed a disease called cachexia which resulted in their deaths. Another document stated two calves were castrated without receiving anesthesia, a required WSU protocol.

In response to the death of the infant bats, a letter from Vice President for Research, Christopher J. Keane to Axel Wolff, director for the Division of Compliance Oversight at the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare National Institutes of Health, stated the incident was “isolated” and actions were taken to make sure something like it would not happen again.

In a separate letter to Wolff from Keane about the calves, Keane said the protocol to treat the calves without an anesthetic was approved, and one of the two calves was given an anesthetic to treat “post-operative hemorrhage” afterwards. The letter also said after a meeting was held about the incident several “corrective actions” would be implemented.

The allegations from Stop Animal Exploitation Now, come on top of seven other federal violations the university has had against them since last year. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued an official warning to the university for an incident that occurred in 2016 in which a dog was left in a kennel overnight and died.

The group is calling WSU’s actions “negligent” and requested a full investigation be launched against the university.

In a letter to Dr. Robert Gibbens, director of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service/Animal Care, Salmonid Association of Eastern Newfoundland (SAEN) Executive Director Michael A. Budkie said WSU should receive “the most severe punishment possible” for violating the Animal Welfare Act.

In addition to filing an official complaint against WSU, Budkie also thinks the university should be charged $10,000 for each violation on each animal.

“It is time for the USDA to take actions which truly penalize this criminal laboratory,” Budkie said in a press release.