An Ohio-based animal rights organization filed an official complaint against UNC to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Monday, citing incidents related to the University’s animal research that the organization called “clear violations of the Animal Welfare Act.”
The animal rights organization, Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! (SAEN), is urging a USDA investigation into UNC that could result in a maximum fine of $10,000 for each lab-animal use infraction and for each animal affected by those infractions.
Infractions include improper animal handling and unqualified personnel.
The primary incident cited in SAEN’s complaint was first reported last month by The Daily Tar Heel in a piece documenting 65 instances of mistreatment of lab animals. These violations, which occurred over the last four years, were self-reported by UNC to the National Institutes of Health.
The incident in question was described by UNC in February. The University's report stated that researchers had euthanized a pig after an “apparent human error” caused a malfunction in an anesthesia machine the pig was hooked up to, leading to breathing issues and distress.