UI to implement changes following deaths of cows

By Daily Illini Staff Report

The University is under fire from research watchdog group Stop Animal Exploitation Now, or SAEN, for the deaths of five cows on campus.

In a news advisory sent Monday, SAEN reported it filed a complaint with the United States Department of Agriculture against the University. According to the USDA, it will “institute an immediate investigation” of the charges.

Robin Kaler, campus spokesperson, said the USDA conducted a standard inspection on Aug. 3 and the University will implement changes based on the report made after the visit. She said the cows were in the lab strictly for research purposes and died after complications from surgery.

Kaler said the University will not be fined, despite the $100,000 charge urged in the advisory from SAEN.

Michael Budke, SAEN co-founder, said the USDA conducted a regular inspection of the facility at the University on Aug. 3 and issued two citations. He said procedures done with five instructors, three veterinarians and two technicians present were not performed “aseptically”, and resulted in the deaths of the cows. Budke said SAEN filed a complaint with the USDA based on the report’s findings.

“In the past, we’ve asked them a number of times when there was something like this; that was a more serious issue. We’ve asked them to go back and they often do a more detailed search, as far as going through records and things of that nature, and that often brings up more instances of noncompliance than they were aware of previously,” he said.

Budke said the standard response from he USDA is to allow 60 to 90 days for a response, due to research being conducted at numerous other national research facilities registered with the department.

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