Johns Hopkins Researchers Harmed Dogs, Animal Rights Group Claims

August 15, 2019by Meredith Cohn
Gilman Hall was the first major building on Johns Hopkins University's Homewood campus. (Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun/TNS)

BALTIMORE — An animal rights group has filed a complaint against Johns Hopkins University for what it describes as botched surgeries on nine dogs that led to their paralysis and euthanasia.

This is the second complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture against Hopkins this year by Stop Animal Exploitation Now, though the Ohio-based group has filed complaints in recent years against multiple research labs that still use hundreds of thousands of animals in scientific experiments to test medical treatments and conduct other research.

The group’s previous complaint against Hopkins came in February and was related to the accidental crushing death of a marmoset. The USDA inspected Hopkins and cited the lab for “unqualified personnel.”

In the case of the dogs, the group cited a letter Hopkins wrote to the National Institutes of Health stating that the federally funded experiment was stopped.

The letter said researchers had been exploring the use of spinal cord stimulation for the gastrointestinal disorder gastroparesis, which the scientists said has no effective treatment. Surgeries were planned on 19 dogs in 2017 and 2018 and nine dogs had “unexpected complications that led to dogs being euthanized for humane reasons.”

The animal rights group called Hopkins staff “bungling” and “unqualified,” and said they violated the Animal Welfare Act. The complaint seeks the maximum penalty of $10,000 for each animal.

“It is quite clear that something is rotten at Johns Hopkins University,” said Michael A. Budkie, co-founder of the animal rights group, which is the leading lab animal watchdog group. “Causing paralysis in dogs and crushing a marmoset monkey in a cage door are not only immensely cruel, but these incidents also clearly demonstrate that bungling JHU staff is unqualified.”

Kim Hoppe, a spokeswoman for Hopkins, said in a statement that officials were “deeply disappointed” by the events and have taken steps to prevent anything similar from happening. She confirmed the study was terminated and said the other dogs involved were adopted out.

She said Hopkins provided a full report to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare. Hoppe also said Hopkins’ animal care program is accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International and that the university complies with USDA regulations and other government and institutional guidelines and policies.

“The care of animals involved in our research is incredibly important to us,” Hoppe said. “We rigorously adhere to all state and federal animal welfare requirements and guidelines, including closely monitoring all animal research and providing regular reports to government agencies that oversee such research.”

Almost 800,000 animals were used in research facilities in fiscal 2017, according to the latest data available from the USDA. That includes dogs, cats, sheep, rabbits, pigs and primates, among other animals. It does not include mice or rats, the most common animals used in experiments.

There were more than 41,000 animals used in Maryland facilities that year, including 856 dogs.

The use of animals in research has gained attention in recent years, and use of dogs has been especially controversial because they are so closely associated with humans, animal rights activists say.

Last year, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Beagle Freedom Bill, which requires research labs in the state to make more of an effort to find homes for their adoptable dogs and cats once experiments are complete.

Hopkins already had a program to find adoptable dogs homes, and officials have said hundreds of dogs have been adopted out. University officials also have said labs have been shifting to use more mice and rabbits.

Medical schools, including Hopkins in 2016, have stopped using animals in training, and cosmetic companies have moved away from animal testing. Federal law, however, still requires animal testing of drugs for humans.

———

©2019 The Baltimore Sun

Visit The Baltimore Sun at www.baltimoresun.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Litigation

Justice Dept. Seeks Dismissal of Equal Rights Amendment Suit
Litigation
Justice Dept. Seeks Dismissal of Equal Rights Amendment Suit
May 19, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - The Trump administration is attempting to get a lawsuit dismissed that seeks to add the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A Justice Department motion to dismiss filed last week says the deadline expired for states to ratify the amendment to protect women’s... Read More

4th Circuit Rules Against Trump in Emoluments Clause Case
Litigation
4th Circuit Rules Against Trump in Emoluments Clause Case
May 14, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court ruled against President Donald Trump on Thursday in a lawsuit alleging he's violated the Constitution's emoluments clause by profiting from foreign and state government patrons at his hotel in downtown Washington. A divided 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused... Read More

Congress Tries to Protect Employers From Lawsuits Tied to Coronavirus
Congress
Congress Tries to Protect Employers From Lawsuits Tied to Coronavirus
May 13, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Industry and legal experts told the U.S. Senate Tuesday that the coronavirus pandemic is creating liabilities that are not adequately addressed by existing laws and regulations. As a result, business owners are running up against hundreds of lawsuits that are slowing the nation’s economic... Read More

Lawsuit Seeks to Block Texas Vote-By-Mail Restrictions
Voting
Lawsuit Seeks to Block Texas Vote-By-Mail Restrictions

AUSTIN, Texas — Opening a new front in the legal battle to expand voting by mail in Texas, a federal lawsuit filed Monday seeks to block a handful of state regulations described as onerous and detrimental to voting rights. The lawsuit, filed in San Antonio by... Read More

Universities Sued by Students Who Say Online Education Inadequate
Education
Universities Sued by Students Who Say Online Education Inadequate
May 11, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

Universities nationwide are being sued by parents and students who say the schools are falling short of their duties during the coronavirus shutdown. The universities have switched to online education until the national emergency subsides. The students and their parents say they didn’t pay tens of... Read More

Michigan Legislature Sues Gov. Whitmer Over Extension of Coronavirus Emergency
State News
Michigan Legislature Sues Gov. Whitmer Over Extension of Coronavirus Emergency
May 8, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

Republican lawmakers in Michigan’s state legislature are suing Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer over her move to extend stay-at-home orders last week amid the coronavirus crisis. The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday by House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, alleges that Whitmer’s emergency orders... Read More

Straight From The Well
scroll top