Animal-rights group alleges abuses by UCLA researchers

Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Animal-rights group alleges abuses by UCLA researchers
An animal-rights organization says documents released in a lawsuit show multiple incidents of animals injured during the course of research at UCLA.

WESTWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- An animal-rights group is alleging that UCLA researchers have engaged in negligent and abusive treatment of animals for research.

Stop Animal Exploitation Now said records released by UCLA in response to a lawsuit from the group detail incidents of what SAEN thinks are illegal research practices.

The reports document an anesthetized rabbit that was accidentally set on fire, two sea lions that died during field sampling, animals with broken bones and at least a half a dozen other infractions that SAEN says violate the federal Animal Welfare Act.

"When they are looked at as objects, the needs of the animals are essentially ignored," said SAEN founder Michael Budkie.

SAEN filed a complaint with the USDA demanding that UCLA be fined $10,000 for each infraction that led to the negligent injury or death of an animal.

UCLA released this statement in response: "All incidents included in the public records request filed by SAEN were thoroughly investigated by federal regulators, who issued no citations or fines and determined that researchers were not out of compliance with policies."

The school also provided a letter from the USDA detailing a routine inspection in March of this year that found no non-compliance items.