UTMB at center of animal abuse allegations

April 7, 2011 1:02:36 PM PDT
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot has ruled that the University of Texas Medical Branch must surrender several documents requested by PETA amid allegations of animal abuse. Since January, UTMB has tried to claim various legal exemptions for withholding these documents, which include veterinary records of animals used in painful and deadly burn, pain and irritable bowel syndrome experiments and training exercises, according to a statement from PETA.

The animal organization filed an open records request after they say a whistleblower reported that dogs, monkeys, sheep, mice and other animals were allegedly neglected and denied veterinary care before and after experiments. In some other studies, sheep, pigs, and mice allegedly were burned over 40 percent of their bodies.

After hearing arguments from PETA and UTMB, Abbott ruled the university must hand over the documents to PETA.

"The attorney general's laudable decision ensures that the public has access to information about how its tax dollars are being used," PETA Vice President of Laboratory Investigations Kathy Guillermo, said in a prepared statement.

PETA has also filed a nine-page complaint with the US Department of Agriculture regarding these alleged abuses.


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