Animal rights group Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) is accusing Yale University of negligence for the deaths of 33 animals used in research experiments.
SAEN filed the complain with the USDA last week and is asking a fine of $10,000 per animal, with a minimum of $60,000.
The complaint mentions 1 dog that died due to a broken oxygen tank in 2011, 17 hamsters that died after a lab worker failed to perform a morning assessment and 15 mastomys that died after being given an oral vaccine in 2012.
Information on what type of research was being conducted on the animals was not released.
“If prestigious institutions such as Yale can’t follow basic guidelines in its treatment of laboratory animals, doesn’t it put into question the value of this research in the first place?” Michael Budkie, SAEN’s executive director, told the New Haven Register.
“The general public is often led to believe that because facilities are inspected, it means the animals are OK and there’s nothing to worry about. But everything is not OK, based on what we’re seeing in government documents.”
SAEN also filed a complaint with the USDA on February against the University of Michigan for the deaths of hamster, a guinea pig and a baboon.
The baboon strangled himself after being left unattended with a toy, the guinea pig died during an unapproved surgery and the hamster escaped and was found dead in a drain.
“It’s very clear that these incidents are violations of the Animal Welfare Act,” said Michael Budkie. “You have laboratories that don’t seem to even be able to keep the animals alive, follow their own protocols or adhere to their own basic husbandry standards.”
According to university figures, 247,000 animals are currently living in their research facilities.
They are now facing fines up to $40,000.