Following a complaint by an animal rights group in February, the University of Michigan has become the latest institution under fire for questionable animal research policies. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that it will review several incidents that happened during the 2012-13 academic year at the school, including the accidental strangulation death of a baboon.
The group Stop Animal Exploitation Now complained about the baboon, who was strangled when left unattended with a toy. Two other incidents cited were an unapproved emergency surgery on a guinea pig and a hamster who was found dead in a drain after he escaped from his cage. AP reports:
University spokeswoman Kara Gavin says the Ann Arbor school reported the incidents to the National Institutes of Health because they violated the institutes' policy on the humane care and use of laboratory animals. All involved animals were used for research.
Michigan joins a growing list of universities, the most recent of which was UC Berkeley, which was fined $8,750 last month for allowing five lab animals to die of thirst in 2011. In December, Harvard was slapped with $24,000 fine for 11 violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including four involving the death of an animal. At Emory University, a July 2012 USDA report revealed that an employee killed a rhesus macaque monkey by giving him the incorrect compound, while the University of Louisiana Lafayette was fined $38,571 for a group of animal welfare violations in 2013.
Change.org hosts several petitions you can sign to end cruel practices in animal testing at universities.