More Animal Welfare Problems at UCSF

Lab inspection reports and internal documents reveal incidents involving the mistreatment of research animals at the University of California, San Francisco.

By Dan Cossins | November 27, 2012

Wikimedia, USDAIn the 7 years since the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), paid $92,500 to settle federal allegations that its researchers violated animal care guidelines, neglect and mistreatment have continued at the institution, according to a report to a report out last week in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Examining inspection reports from the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) animal welfare division and UCSF’s internal incident lists, the newspaper revealed a string of violations, including failures to maintain clean enclosures, failures to provide sufficient food and water, and poor monitoring of animals.

For example, USDA inspectors cited UCSF researchers for not checking on the health of voles used in a degenerative brain disease study over one weekend. They also found that several animals received little or no pain medication after surgical procedures, and that one Rhesus macaque was used in a Parkinson’s study for 2 years despite painful complications following a procedure to implant a device in its skull.

Such treatment “is not consistent with the intent of this section of the Animal Welfare Act,” the inspector wrote in a report. “Keeping an animal on study under these circumstances does not avoid or minimize discomfort, distress, or pain to that animal.”

A spokeswoman for UCSF told the San Francisco Chronicle that “failures to follow policies, guidelines, and protocol can occur” at larger biomedical research programs. She added that considering its size, the UCSF had few incidents. The USDA’s most recent visit, an unannounced inspection this past June, produced no citations. 

(Hat tip to The Chronicle of Higher Education)

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Avatar of: maxinerwb


Posts: 1

November 27, 2012

I am not at all surprised.  California is the armpit of the nation.  People elected Governor Moonbeam.  I feel for the animals.  They do not deserve this kind of treatment, just so some scientist can claim some cockamamie research finding.  California bites the big one.  You could not pay me enough to live in that god-forsaken state.

Avatar of: Mary Finelli

Mary Finelli

Posts: 27

November 27, 2012

As long as animals are viewed as disposable property they will needlessly suffer abuse and neglect. There is no moral justification for using animals this way. Vivisection is immoral and archaic. It needs to be made illegal.

November 27, 2012


I suggest you go and watch some animals in the wild. Surprisingly they will not run around chasing each other with rubber mallets, fall off cliffs and get up unhurt, talk to you in cute chirpy voices, or sing. The average mouse or rat is lucky to live about 2 months. They often have their entrails ripped out of them while they are still living, without the benefit of pain medication or anaesthesia. Infected teeth, wounds, and infestations of worms and bugs are common place and go untreated. The average lab animal lives significantly longer, has much better access to food and medical treatment, and provides valuable information that has all gone towards allowing you to protest for a good 20 years longer than your grandparents will have lived. Animal research is not fun. All researchers are not perfect. And while I don't want to work on animals myself, I respect the fact that UCSF has done so much to improve their facilities. I am rather unimpressed with the lack of diligence in this reporters article. It seems intent on being sensationalistic and needed better editing. It's quality doesn't reflect well on this magazine.

Avatar of: Paul Stein

Paul Stein

Posts: 237

November 27, 2012

This article read very strangely, so one really needs to go straight to the San Francisco Chronicle (SFC) piece for the full report.  That one basically cites a fine from events in 2001 to 2003 and then covers the 2008 onwards plight of a single rhesis monkey, sensationalized a la PeTA.  One can definitely see the author's anti-animal research bent all the way through.  So, the title above, "More Welfare Problems at UCSF", looking at the SFC piece, is a major stretch noting the paucity of recent evidence cited.

Paul Stein

Avatar of: rosinbio


Posts: 13

Replied to a comment from AlternativeThinking made on November 27, 2012

November 27, 2012

What happns in nature does not in any way justify the mistreatment of research animals by humans!

Avatar of: Dorian


Posts: 1

Replied to a comment from maxinerwb made on November 27, 2012

November 29, 2012

I am sorry you feel this way. I assume that you also don't use any inventions/discoveries from California - oops, you are already using a computer ... hope you also don't need insulin, an MRI or PET scan, or ...

Avatar of: kitapbigi


Posts: 20

February 11, 2013


To Dave20640, 65% is the proportion of the 2,000 retracted articles, not of all articles published. If 200,000 articles were published, that would be only 2/3 of one percent of all articles published; not a stunning number. I didn't see anything in the article (or the linked material) that indicated whether 2,000 was large or not, by comparison. What perplexes me is that these people think they are not going to get caught. That makes me wonder if there's a lot more going on than we know about, that they do know about. I then wonder why we don't see, in these reports, information that they were asked if, in their experience, this kind of behavior is widespread. Not that we would necessarily be confident about the veracity of their observations. kredi hesaplama-evim şahane - fragman izle - mobilya modelleri


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