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September 20, 2012

The HSUS Applauds USDA Citations Against Animal Testing Facility Santa Cruz Biotechnology

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    According to inspection reports, Santa Cruz Biotechnology houses approximately 10,000 goats and 6,000 rabbits as well as horses and cattle not regulated by the USDA. Anthro/iStockphoto.com

The Humane Society of the United States applauds the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recent filing of a formal complaint against animal research facility Santa Cruz Biotechnology after a series of Animal Welfare Act violations. This complaint, filed with an administrative law judge, signals that the USDA has deemed the laboratory’s violations to be willful and rising to the level of formal penalty.

“The Humane Society of the United States is encouraged by the USDA’s complaint filing in response to a long-standing, unacceptable pattern of poor animal welfare at Santa Cruz Biotechnology,” said Kathleen Conlee, vice president of animal research issues at The HSUS. “We now urge the court to take the strongest action possible, including levying fines that are serious enough to send a strong message that preventable animal suffering and death are strictly unacceptable.”

The complaint cited more than 20 violations from July 2007 to May 2012, including failure to maintain adequate veterinary care, failure to consider alternatives to procedures involving animal pain and distress, failure to handle animals in a manner that avoids stress, and failure to avoid and minimize pain and distress during procedures.

Cited incidents at Santa Cruz Biotechnology include goats suffering from lameness, broken limbs, acute injuries, and respiratory, urinary or neurologic illnesses—all not given proper treatment or veterinary care. Other violations involved performing excessive blood draws causing the animals to suffer from severe anemia, and a goat who died in distress before she could be euthanized.

Under the Animal Welfare Act, the USDA can impose a fine of up to $10,000 per violation. According to inspection reports, the facility houses approximately 10,000 goats and 6,000 rabbits as well as horses and cattle not regulated by the USDA.

View the USDA's formal complaint against Santa Cruz Biotechnology here.

View the 2011 USDA Annual Report for Santa Cruz Biotechnology here.

View the 2010-2012 USDA Inspection Reports for Santa Cruz Biotechnology here.

Media Contact: Niki Ianni, 301.548.7793, nianni@humanesociety.org

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