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The Physicians Committee



More Animals Die Because of Negligence at Ohio State University

A recent power outage at Ohio State University in mid-July resulted in the deaths of almost 700 animals, including mice, rats, and rabbits. A backup generator failed to provide air conditioning, and temperatures in the laboratories rose to over 105 degrees for several hours.

PCRM has asked the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate OSU’s failure to comply with the Health Research Extension Act of 1985. The law requires facilities receiving NIH funding to provide proper care for their animals. During the power outage, not only was there no backup generator to provide light and air conditioning during the peak of summer, but in some places, the heat was actually switched on. There was no system in place to alert any authority about the risks to the animals.

OSU has long been criticized for its treatment of animals. The university recently sent its retired colony of cognitive research chimpanzees and monkeys to a facility in San Antonio, without ensuring that the facility was capable of caring for them. Five chimps at the facility have died since March, including two from OSU.

The school has also become infamous for “Cruelty 101,” an OSU summer course in which students cause severe spinal cord injury in small animals. Weights are dropped onto the exposed spinal cords of rats and mice, who are then required to perform physical tasks such as swimming or running. Nearly 300 animals are used each year in the three-week course. OSU also was the site of controversial experiments in which cats were infected with viruses and then given methamphetamine.



 

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