An animal advocacy group is pushing for an investigation into the University of Michigan’s animal testing laboratories after a series of “serious systemic issues” have taken place over the past six months.
Last week, Stop Animal Exploitation Now officials wrote a letter to University Regents and president Mark Schlissel, claiming that they possess various documents showing negligence on the University’s behalf in regard to its animal experimentation system.
The documents were received through record requests from the federal Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare. They apparently show that 11,610 animals died and another disappeared within university laboratories over the last six months.
Stop Animal Exploitation Now claims that the university’s “callousness and negligence” caused the death of over 11,000 fish due to the use of bleach, and that over 50 mice were deprived of water.
“When the RO system pump restarted, bleach was inadvertently siphoned into the zebrafish tank reservoir. As a result, fish started to die.. . . about 40% of the fish (11,548) were lost . . ,” one of the documents quoted in the letter by the advocacy group states.
Michael A. Budkie, executive director of Stop Animal Exploitation Now, has called on university administrators to take strict action against the staff involved in the deaths.
“This is a description of multiple incidents of clear and unadulterated negligence that must be punished,” Budkie wrote. “The staff involved in these incidents should never be allowed to work with animals again.”
In a statement, the university said it regrets the loss of the animals and that it undertook necessary reporting steps immediately after each incident.
“The University of Michigan recognizes that working with animals to advance human and animal health is a privilege that requires constant diligence and a commitment to the highest standards of animal welfare in all aspects of our research and teaching,” the statement said. “The institution took all necessary steps to self-report and correct these isolated incidents.”