Lawsuit: UCSF mistreated test animals

UC San Francisco is performing medical experiments on dogs and monkeys that violate the federal Animal Welfare Act, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.

The complaint, filed by a group called the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, alleges that UCSF’s cardiology tests on a group of 100 dogs and ongoing studies of eye movement and brain function in rhesus monkeys violate animal-testing laws, according to Lawrence Hansen, a member of the committee and a professor of neurosciences and pathology at UC San Diego.

“It’s far too much pain and suffering without furthering our understanding of human disease,” Hansen said.

UCSF paid $92,500 in fines to the United States Department of Agriculture in 2005 for violations of the Animal Welfare Act dating back to the late 1990s, according to the lawsuit.

UCSF defended its animal-testing practices in a statement released Monday.

“UCSF takes seriously the responsibility of working with animals and is committed to maintaining the highest standard of humane treatment in animal care and use,” Clifford Roberts, interim associate vice chancellor for research at UCSF, said in a written statement.

A recent USDA audit of the dog and monkey clinical and research records, performed the week of July 23, found no regulatory violations, Roberts added.

Specifically, the committee’s lawsuit charges that the canine cardiology tests violate the law because they duplicate prior atrial fibrillation testing, Hansen said.

In addition, the group claims that the rhesus testing — which involves installing electrodes in the monkeys’ brains and holding the animals still while studying their eye movements — is “highly invasive,” according to Hansen.

bwinegarner@examiner.com


Do you think the legal action is appropriate?

Share your comments below.

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

New plan provides a road map to better transit for Bayview residents

SFMTA to review suite of 101 projects designed to improve community safety and access

Mandelman bringing bathhouses back to The City

New ordinance would amend health code restrictions imposed in 1980s

Bernie Sanders draws large crowd at Richmond rally

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders drew a large crowd at… Continue reading

Quarantined ship passengers sequestered at Travis Air Force Base

More than a dozen have tested positive for coronavirus

Japanese American family at heart of beloved Golden Gate Park garden

The Japanese Tea Garden, the oldest public Japanese garden in North America,… Continue reading

Most Read