Animal Legal Defense Fund Calls for Investigation of Animal Cruelty in Taxpayer-Funded Experiments

Posted on February 12, 2015

ALDF Urges Office of Inspector General to Review Meat Animal Research Center Tests

For immediate release:

Megan Backus, ALDF

us-meat-animal-research-center-cc-USDA-squareSAN FRANCISCO – Today, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) sent a formal letter to the USDA Office of Inspector General (OIG) asking for an investigation into the USDA Meat Animal Research Center’s animal cruelty, exposed by a January 19th New York Times article. After public outcry, Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, ordered an internal review of the Nebraska-based facility, which tests on thousands of cows, pigs, and sheep, and is overseen by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. But ALDF’s letter calls for action by the Office of the Inspector General—an independent agency authorized to investigate problems and offer its own recommendations. Today’s letter asks the OIG to recommend policy changes to end the misuse of taxpayer dollars that funds cruel and wasteful experiments.

For decades, the Meat Animal Research Center has failed to meet even minimal standards of animal welfare. According to the Times, the taxpayer-funded experiments include allowing lambs to die of exposure and starvation after being abandoned by their mothers, and housing animals in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. Thousands have died from starvation. Hundreds of cows have died from mastitis, a highly painful but easily treatable udder infection.

Even the meat industry has balked at these experiments, given the severity of animal suffering. An Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is required to oversee protocols for testing facilities and  ensure experiments minimize pain and alternatives are employed where possible. However, MARC’s committee has greenlighted shockingly cruel tests that few other facilities would ever permit.

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) is co-sponsoring a bill known as the Animal Welfare in Agricultural Research Endeavors Act (AWARE), that would limit an arbitrary exemption for animals used for agricultural research at federal facilities from the protections of the Animal Welfare Act.

“These horrifically cruel experiments make use of loopholes in animal protection laws to increase the industry’s bottom line,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “We ask the Office of Inspector General to investigate this abuse of taxpayer dollars and cruelty to animals.”

Copies of the letter are available upon request.

12 thoughts on “Animal Legal Defense Fund Calls for Investigation of Animal Cruelty in Taxpayer-Funded Experiments

  1. Cindy Christians says:

    What they are doing to animals at the expense of tax payers is deplorable and needs to be Stopped ASAP!

    I don’t understand why this is allowed,
    these people are heartless monsters!!

    Thank You ALDF for all that You do for these poor voiceless animals who dont even have Laws to protect them, This is sinful!!

  2. Kimberly Valentine says:

    It makes me sick and angry that this is allowed at all but even more that our tax dollars are paying for it.

    Government out of control… spending money on cruel abusive experiments we don’t need, while the deficit gets larger and larger.

  3. Tish James says:

    Please shut down these torture chambers! I don’t want a penny of mine supporting animal abuse!! Animals are voiceless and need protected! This is no different then what HITLER did…I’m ashamed to be an American…

  4. Please investigate!

  5. Jo Moore says:

    I am in complete support of a full investigation of this facility and the cruel experiments it is conducting, all to make $$$ for the ag industry.
    How do you people sleep at night?

  6. Denise LoRusso says:

    Can’t we shut down these barbaric places? what will it take?
    You guys rock, and are always my donation of choice. Will give right now.
    Please consider taking Paypal , as it makes it so easier to donate. Love you guys and gals

  7. Lisa Borge says:

    I don’t want my tax dollars spent on animal cruelty period.

  8. Stacy Armenti says:

    Please stop this horrible treatment of animals. These so-called experiments and tests do not need to be done..stop torturing animals for no reason

  9. Kellie Valentine says:

    This is so awful…please stop this practice

  10. Dawn Wipf says:

    Thank you for your time and effort and all you do for the animals….we need organization like you! I pray there is something that can be done…animal research makes me ill:(

  11. Carmel Massella says:

    I do not want my money used for abusing animals….. it is known that most research is not even factual . just kept up for grants and money donations…. use the money for good

  12. I don’t want my tax dollars spent on animal cruelty period. Thank You ALDF for all that You do for these poor voiceless animals who don’t even have Laws to protect them, This is sinful!!
    These people that do this are heartless and need to be punished severely and what would hurt them is loss of BIG MONEY.

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