North Dakota State is the subject of another complaint by the watchdog group Stop Animal Exploitation Now! (SAEN), an “Ohio-based national nonprofit that monitors U.S. research facilities for animal abuse and violations of federal law.”
The group filed their complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which regulates research facilities, against the university, making the claim of the “university potentially breaking U.S. law six times, killing 130 animals in the process.” The new federal complaint, along with previous complaints filed by SAEN, bring the cumulative animal death toll to 176 “tied to NDSU negligence.”
According to SAEN, NDSU has recently been the subject of USDA complaints in which the university was cited for the “dehydration deaths of three pigs and the crushing deaths of 11 lambs.” SAEN also highlighted the “negligent deaths of 22 bats” for which it filed a complaint against the university after a previous inspection.
The watchdog organization’s new complaint outlines 130 new deaths, including “at least 120 sheep caused by listeria from contaminated feed, two self-destructive bats who chewed their own wings, three bats who died in connection to high temperatures, three cows who died in connection to a project which was suspended, a cow who was euthanized due to a broken leg, and an anesthetic death of a cat during a veterinary ‘Surgical Practicum.’”
SAEN explained that the new complaint is filed based off “secreted internal NDSU reports, which were never expected to be made public” and asked the USDA to penalize the university with the maximum fine of $10,000 per animal/per infraction, which amounts to a total penalty of $1.76 million that the organization has filed against the university.
Michael Budkie, A.H.T., executive director and co-founder of SAEN, said in a statement, “North Dakota State University has now committed massive negligence which caused over 170 animal deaths. The more documents we examine, the more deaths we find.”
“I must insist that you take the most severe action allowable under the Animal Welfare Act and immediately begin the process of issuing the maximum fine allowable against North Dakota State University at the completion of your investigation,” Budkie continued.
The university issued a statement upon knowledge of the complaint filed, stating, “NDSU has received no indication from any government agency overseeing research that there are issues with the institution’s current reporting activities.”
“NDSU remains committed to conducting important research that results in solutions to the complex problems of our day including food systems and security, healthy populations and sustainable societal infrastructure.”
This is the third complaint that SAEN has filed against NDSU, and there has not been any indication as of yet that the USDA has acted upon or begun an investigation based on the complaint.