John Hopkins Reaches $25K Settlement with USDA

Stop Animal Exploitation Now issued a press release in August claiming that, back in February, John Hopkins University reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to settle a number of complaints over alleged violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Most of the alleged violations occurred between 1998 and 2003.

In the settlement agreement, a copy of which was also obtained by the Chronicle of Higher Education, John Hopkins did not admit any wrongdoing.

According to the Chronicle, John Hopkins was by far the top recipient of research grants from the National Institutes of Health, receiving $599 million in 2004 for 1,300 projects.

The various complaints filed by USDA inspectors included failure to provide anesthesia or veterinary care, to inappropriate housing for 37 primates at the university’s Krieger Mind/Brain Institute.

In the SAEN press release, Michael Budkie said,

In April of 2004 we labeled Johns Hopkins one of the worst labs in the nation for violating the Animal Welfare Act at least 31 times in three years. Apparently the USDA agrees with our investigation, which uncovered a wide array of illegal activity at Johns Hopkins.

Presumably if the USDA really felt that way, it wouldn’t have settled for a relatively small $25,000 settlement fine.

For its part, John Hopkins University spokeswoman Joanna Downer told The Chronicle,

[John Hopkins University] has been making great improvements in the processes in place to oversee animal research and to maintain and improve the quality of our research and care program. If our animals aren’t doing well, it doesn’t contribute to excellent research.

Source:

John Hopkins U. Agrees to $25,000 Settlement Over Animal-Care Allegations. Jeffrey Brainard, The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 10, 2005.

Johns Hopkins University labs slapped with hefty $25,000 USDA fine after watchdog group files complaint. Press Release, Stop Animal Exploitation Now, August 9, 2005.

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