Local research facility refutes neglect complaint
VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich. — Some people feel the use of live animals for scientific research and testing is wrong and needs to stop. Well, a group called Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) accuses MPI Research of mishandling more than 100 rabbits.
The animal rights activists claim things got so bad that the rabbits were euthanized last summer at the Mattawan-based research facility. This morning, SAEN held a press conference and pointed to communication purportedly between MPI Research and the National Institutes of Health.
SAEN believes some part of the experimental procedures were so unsettling to the test rabbits that the rabbits became self-destructive and even attacked their own flesh. The group also claims MPI failed to report this information to the Unites States Department of Agriculture, as required by law under the Animal Welfare Act.
Michael Budkie, co-founder of SAEN, said, “Our work involves monitoring virtually every research facility in the United States.”
He added, “… yet this is the first time I’ve ever read anything about rabbits engaging in self-mutilation.”
Budkie said, “The credibility that animal experimentation is given in the United States is not justified in any way.”
“In fact, in many instances, what we believe is that the results of these research projects are not worth the paper they’re printed on,” he added.
MPI Research sent FOX 17 this statement:
The Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW), which is part of the National Institutes of Health, has confirmed that all steps taken by MPI Research in this instance were consistent with Public Health Services (PHS) Policy on the Humane Care of Laboratory Animals. The animal deaths in this particular event were ethical, carried out through humane euthanasia, and no animals in the study suffered stress-related deaths.