USDA Warns Kerrville Animal Research Facility To Clean Up Its Act

The USDA sent a formal warning to an animal research facility in Kerrville. - Wikimedia
The USDA sent a formal warning to an animal research facility in Kerrville.

After the United States Department of Agriculture learned a Kerrville animal research lab didn't provide medical attention to a rabbit with a broken leg and housed 180 goats in single-digit weather without shelter, it issued a stern warning.

The lab, Equitech-Bio, committed five federal violations between September 30, 2014 and February 12, 2015, according to the USDA warning.

The San Antonio Current has obtained a copy of the warning, along with multiple routine USDA inspection reports detailing the violations.

According to the USDA, Equitech-Bio, did not communicate to a veterinarian that a white and black-spotted adult rabbit had a broken leg.

"Animals with injuries or diseases must receive appropriate methods to diagnose and adequately treat diseases in a timely manner," the warning states.

Federal regulations require that all injuries at the lab must be reported to a veterinarian in a timely manner.

"On January, 2015, it was determined that 180 goats were housed in a manner that did not protect them from the cold weather," the USDA warning states. "Specifically, the barn housing the goats had no bedding and did not provide a wind-break for the animals. Animals must be housed in a manner to prevent discomfort and stress."

The facility also failed to establish an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, which is required of all research facilities that receive federal funding. This committee would review the facility for human care and use of animals, inspect animal facilities and submit reports every six-months. Additionally, the USDA chided Equitech-Bio for conducting animal research without Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee approval.

National animal rights group Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! has filed a complaint against the lab with the USDA and is asking that Equitech-Bio be fined $10,000 per infraction.

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