By now, most people have heard about the allegations against Georgia Regents University by the Humane Society of the United States.
After a three-month long undercover investigation by the animal rights advocacy group, the Humane Society claims that GRU performed painful and unnecessary dental experiments on dogs in its research labs.
The experiments apparently included the removal of the dogs’ teeth and replacing them with dental implants. The dogs were later euthanized in order to get a small sample of their jaw bones, the animal advocacy group claims.
“The Humane Society of the United States investigation confirms the university obtains dogs from a random-source Class B animal dealer who has been formally charged by the U.S. Department of Agriculture with violations of the Animal Welfare Act,” according to the Humane Society’s website.
The Humane Society is also claiming GRU did not follow the federally required protocol for the experiments.
The HSUS investigator also documented the following problems with animal care and compliance with federal law at GRU: Failure to provide appropriate and necessary veterinary treatment to sick and injured animals; use of an underweight dog in dental implant surgeries; failure to provide proper enrichment to primates who exhibited severe stereotypic behaviors, including self-injury; and failure to provide necessary euthanasia to severely injured rodents.
If you have the stomach to watch the video of the Humane Society’s undercover investigation, it can be found on the organization’s site humanesociety.org, but you should be warned that the footage is extremely graphic.
If you can’t stomach the footage, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also did a story detailing some of the Humane Society’s concerns about the college.
In response to the allegations, GRU released a statement defending its practices and insisting that the Humane Society’s video “misrepresents the realities of scientific studies conducted at GRU.”
“As a leading research university, we take our mission to improve health care seriously,” GRU stated. “Animal research has provided many of today’s medical advancements, which have alleviated pain and suffering, improved human health, and saved countless lives.”
It’s been a rough week for GRU, but critics would point out that it was a lot rougher year for the poor dogs involved in the experiments.
It’s pretty ironic that GRU appears to be having a little trouble following proper procedures, particularly considering the hoops they are forcing much of their faculty and their students to jump through since Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University merged.
Over the past year, GRU’s Institutional Review Board have subjected students working on even the most simple research projects to rigorous review and guidelines which can take months for approval.
As soon as the merger of the two universities occurred, several ASU faculty members and students were shocked to discover strict guidelines handed by GRU President Ricardo Azziz without any discussion or debate. It has completed changed the atmosphere at the former ASU campus.
The administrators at GRU are demanding students and faculty to follow policy and procedures to a tee.
It appears Azziz and GRU may suffer from the “do as I say, not as I do” disease.
After all, if the college is holding students to such high standards, shouldn’t GRU make sure it doesn’t skip over any federal or state guidelines regarding experiments?