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UPDATE: U of A Research Projects Reinstated

UPDATE: The University of Arkansas released a statement regarding the seven research projects that were reported to have been suspended.

Steve Voorhies, media relations manager for the university, said the projects were temporarily suspended but have been reinstated.

"It’s important to note that no animal mistreatment was identified, only procedural inconsistencies with approved research protocols and University policies and documentation," Voorhies said. "The university halted research in those areas as a precaution, conducted an internal investigation and began corrective measures back in August 2017."

Voorhies said the university's findings and corrective measures were reported to the appropriate federal agencies earlier this year and the projects have since been reinstated.

Voorhies full statement is as follows:

“As a part of its regular review process of animal research on campus last year, the University discovered some inconsistencies regarding a few protocols (detailed research activities). It’s important to note that no animal mistreatment was identified, only procedural inconsistencies with approved research protocols and University policies and documentation. The university halted research in those areas as a precaution, conducted an internal investigation and began corrective measures back in August 2017.  The university’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) reviewed the findings in accordance with policy and decided to suspend the research until corrective actions could be implemented.

“The university has now implemented those actions to further ensure the highest standards of care for animals used in research while meeting all federal requirements. The University’s findings and corrective measures were reported to the appropriate federal agencies earlier this year. The projects have since been reinstated. It’s also important to point out that during the period in question, a University veterinarian provided oversight of animal health and welfare until the official Attending Veterinarian position was filled in the summer of 2017.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) -- Seven research projects at the University of Arkansas have been suspended for not following federal regulations.

A national watchdog that monitors research facilities, SAEN, said the suspensions were announced in January.

The suspended project had previously been the subject of multiple federal violations after a USDA inspection, said SAEN.

Some of the infractions include the absence of a veterinarian on campus, performing unapproved procedures, and failure to follow health and safety protocols.

"The University of Arkansas research program is clearly in shambles," said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., SAEN executive director." Any facility that had to suspend seven protocols has laboratory staff that is out of control. These so-called 'scientists' are destroying UA's reputation."

SAEN is seeking the maximum penalty against the school which is $10,000 per infraction/animal.

KNWA has reached out to the University of Arkansas for comment. It has not yet responded.


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