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UW-Madison fined $74,000 over animal research

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The University of Wisconsin-Madison was fined $74,000 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 28 violations of federal animal-research standards.

The fine was assessed in April as part of a settlement for 28 violations that occurred between 2015 to 2019, the Wisconsin State Journal reported on Thursday.
Many of the violations involved incidents in which monkeys were injured after staff errors or equipment failures allowed animals to exit their cages, the newspaper said. At least a dozen animals sustained injuries that required amputations of their fingers, toes or portions of their tongue.

UW-Madison previously paid the USDA a more than $35,000 fine in 2014 for animal research-related violations. The university has a large animal research program, with about 7,000 people certified to work with animals in nearly 50 facilities.

Most of the problems described in the most recent settlement were immediately reported by campus staff to federal agencies, according to the university spokeswoman Kelly Tyrrell. UW-Madison took steps to prevent future violations, including upgrading procedures, equipment and staffing, long before the settlement was reached April 15 and the fine was paid April 29.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an animal rights group, said in a statement that UW-Madison shouldn’t be allowed “another chance to harm and kill animals.”

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