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USDA asks MPI to reconfigure enclosures after animal death

By Nick Taylor , 10-May-2012

MPI Research must reconfigure its enclosures after they led to the death of a non-human primate, a USDA report obtained by animal rights activists shows.

Inspectors from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) found records showing MPI has euthanised a non-human primate in June after it was injured by its enclosure at the Mattawan, Michigan facility.

Non-human primate 227:G was found with its left forelimb immobilised in the bottom grate of the enclosure. This incident resulted in the non-human primate being euthanised for a fracture of the left forelimb”, USDA inspectors wrote in a report obtained by Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN).

The USDA report gives MPI until September 13 to reconfigure the bottom grates of all enclosures to protect non-human primates from injury. During the inspection another non-human primate got its forelimb caught but MPI employees were able to help remove the limb without injuring the animal.

USDA inspectors also asked for changes to enclosures for dogs and cats by April 27. During the visit two dogs put their heads through openings in their enclosures and the USDA fears this could lead to injuries.

In a statement sent to Outsourcing-Pharma Joan Manners, senior director of marketing at MPI, said: “We fully recognize the importance of the findings generated by this, and all other inspections. Each and every MPI Research employee is expected to embrace the concept of continuous improvement.”

Other concerns raised in the USDA report relate the handling of non-human primates. In the eight months between USDA inspections records show MPI euthanised two non-human primates after they were injured during handling by staff.

The previous inspection in August found records of four animals being euthanised after sustaining injuries during handling. SAEN is concerned about the repeat observations in the April inspection.

I believe that the handling of this previous incident has been improperly slow, and that meaningful enforcement actions should have been taken much more quickly in response to the first of these deaths”, Michael Budkie, executive director at SAEN, wrote in a letter to a USDA regional director.

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