An Ohio-based anti-animal abuse group said Wednesday LSU officials have ended one animal experiment for biomedical research and should suspend a second one after the organization complained federal rules were violated.

Officials of Stop Animal Abuse NOW! sent a 10-page letter to LSU President F. King Alexander on Tuesday outlining concerns.

The target of the complaint is work at the LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport.

In a written statement, SAEN said animal surgeries were performed on Fridays or weekends to get around veterinary supervision.

Officials also said staff members were unable to provide animal pain or anesthesia and some animals were forced to undergo the same experiment twice.

They said record keeping was so poor that it was impossible to tell if animals had been used for training or an experiment, whether a surgical procedure was done or if the animal had been given pain relief.

"The idea that a principal investigator deliberately sought to avoid a veterinary supervision of surgical procedures indicates major issues of malfeasance," Michael A. Budkie, co-founder and executive director of SAEN said in a statement.

SAEN calls itself a nonprofit watchdog group that monitors U. S. research facilities for illegal activity and animal abuse.

It is based in a suburb of Cincinnati.

The Shreveport facility is home to the School of Medicine, School of Graduate Studies and School of Allied Health Professions and enrolls more than 800 students.

LSU officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment other than to say the issue involves the Health Sciences Center.

Check back with The Advocate for more details.

“LSU Health Shreveport (LSUHS) has been continuously accredited for 34 years by Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC), which is a voluntary assessment and accrediting organization. This sustained accreditation demonstrates the commitment by LSUHS to the highest regulatory, ethical and humane standards in the care of animals.  

The referenced non-compliant actions were discovered by our institution’s internal due diligence, and were self-reported to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The LSUHS Department of Animal Resources and our Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) investigated and established a thorough plan to address and correct the concerns, which OLAW and NIH reviewed and accepted.

LSU Health Shreveport holds itself to the highest standards in animal care recognizing the vital roles animals have played in virtually every major medical advance of the last century.”

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