As reported in a story yesterday, UW-Madison has agreed to pay a $35,286 fine to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for seven violations the federal agency found in the university's care of research animals. The USDA this morning released the settlement agreement that gives more detail about each violation. The document is attached.

Details of each violation, taken directly from the document, are below. The frequently used acronym APHIS refers to the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Date of Violation: On or before May 29, 2009

University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) failed to communicate problems of animal health to the attending veterinarian in a timely and accurate manner. Research staff observed a dog that had undergone transplantation surgery as part of a research protocol was vomiting, depressed, had edema, and was not eating or producing urine, which were predicted clinical signs associated with the surgery. Although medical care was provided, the staff member failed to communicate these observations to the attending veterinarian. The dog was subsequently euthanized under the protocol.

Date of Violation: On or before December 3, 2009

UW-Madison failed to conduct adequate daily observations of all animals to assess their health and well-being, and to communicate problems to the attending veterinarian in a timely and accurate manner. APHIS observed that a gerbil in a control group was thin, weak, wobbly and having difficulty breathing. Prior to this, information on the gerbil’s condition had not been reported to the attending veterinarian. The gerbil subsequently died.

Date of Violation: December 9, 2009

UW-Madison failed to maintain facilities in good repair. APHIS observed the metal flashing on one corner of the holding barn had jagged edges. The floor of a pen housing a large adult pig was a commercial product constructed with narrow slats. The pig had difficultly standing on this surface and fell repeatedly.

Date of Violation: July 14, 2010

UW-Madison failed to maintain housing facilities for nonhuman primates that were structurally sound and in good repair. APHIS observed areas of flaking and peeling paint on the ceiling above occupied animal enclosures in several rooms and buildings. APHIS also observed a loose cover on a ceiling mounted light fixture, over an occupied primary enclosure housing nonhuman primates, that was hanging down because of a broken clip, and had water accumulated inside the light fixture cover.

Date of Violation: July 14, 2010

UW-Madison failed to maintain a program of adequate veterinary care. APHIS observed expired and/or improperly labeled medications in T-Room 142D and F-Room 142. One medication, saturated Potassium Chloride, was being utilized to euthanize swine following a prescribed research protocol. The label did not list expiration and/or preparation dates.

Date of Violation: On or about April 5, 2012

UW-Madison failed to handle an animal as carefully as possible in a manner that did not cause trauma, physical harm, or unnecessary discomfort. Cat #21 sustained a thermal injury from equipment put in place to maintain body temperature during anesthesia. UW-Madison subsequently treated the animal and performed a surgical correction.

Date of Violation: On or about April 10, 2012

UW-Madison failed to provide adequate training and instruction to its personnel. During an emergency surgical procedure conducted on a nonhuman primate, UW-Madison staff left the pop-up valve on the anesthesia machine in the closed position. The only action taken by the Attending Veterinarian was to speak with the employee about the incident.

Reporter, Wisconsin State Journal

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