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116 Animals Die At IU School Of Medicine As A Result Of Staff Negligence, Watchdog Group Says

Last updated on Monday, May 14, 2018

(INDIANAPOLIS) - A national watchdog group says at least 116 animals were killed and others were injured at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

FOX59 News reports, the group says the animals were found starved, dehydrated, drowned or suffocated because of staff negligence.

The nonprofit group SAEN monitors research facilities for violations and animal abuse. The group is pushing for an investigation into the program and says the school sent federal funding agencies at least 17 letters admitting to wrongdoing.

The findings in the letters include the following incidents from April 2016 to October 2017:

In addition to calling for an investigation, SAEN wants the staff members responsible to be terminated.

"This is shocking. And the reality is that Indiana University School of Medicine considers these animals to be disposable," said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., SAEN executive director and co-founder. "Otherwise they wouldn't have allowed these animals to die of starvation, dehydration, suffocation and drowning."

Indiana University issued the following statement saying all of the incidents were self-reported.

"Indiana University and Indiana University School of Medicine maintain the highest professional standards in the care and treatment of animals. The university is in full compliance with the National Institutes of Health Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare and received clean reports during two recent external site reviews conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and AAALAC International, a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science.

"All cited incidents, which involved mice and rats, were self-reported, demonstrating that the university is diligent in monitoring and taking corrective action when necessary. In each case, the filings were approved and accepted by the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare.

"Medical research taking place at IU School of Medicine is vital to advancing new therapies related to diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, and to improving the health of patients in Indiana and beyond. The university and school strive to have no incidents involving laboratory research and continuously assess protocols and procedures to make improvements when possible."

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