Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The Humane Society of the U.S. is bringing some serious allegations against Georgia Regents University.
The group claims they have proof that scientists in a GRU research lab violated federal law when they performed dental experiments on dogs.
The Humane Society of the US shot video in a dental laboratory at a GRU research facility, said Stephanie Twining with the HSUS. The Humane Society said an investigator was able to get a job at the research facility, and shoot the video undercover. It shows dental experiments being performed on dogs.
Wayne Pacelle with the Humane Society of the US says, "[The experiments] involved removing their[dog's] teeth, conducting dental implant surgery, and then resulting in the kililng of the dogs."
The animals were euthanized at the end of the experiment so the researchers could collect a sample of their jawbones. The head of research at GRU, Dr. Mark Hamrick, says they followed all appropriate protocols.
Here's a statement from Dr. Mark Hamrick, Senior Vice President for Research at Georgia Regents University:
"The Food and Drug Administration, which provides oversight for medical device safety and procedures including dental implants, requires preclinical studies in animals demonstrating that the device or procedure is both safe and effective for its intended use in humans.
"The dogs were obtained from a vendor licensed and inspected by the USDA. Dogs are used infrequently in research conducted at the university.
"The video that was released shows surgical procedures performed under anesthesia, in sterile, aseptic conditions and followed with appropriate clinical management and pain control if necessary. The images showing open wounds in the neck were taken from the autopsy room, after the animal had already been euthanized."
"The video that was released shows surgical procedures performed under anesthesia, in sterile accepted conditions, and followed with apropriate clinical management and and pain control," he says.
Animal testing is not illegal, but the Humane Society of the US alleges some violations of the Animal Welfare Act they say they documented while undercover at GRU.
The USDA and the National Institute of Health that funds grants at GRU both tell us they are now investigating those allegations.
"Animals should not be subjected to these sorts of procedures, they should not be killed for non essential purposes," Pachelle said.
The HSUS investigation said 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.
On Sept. 19, the USDA filed a legal complaint against animal dealer Kenneth Schroeder for multiple and serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including obtaining dogs from unauthorized sources, according to HSUS.
News 12 confirms Schroeder sent six dogs approved by J. Paul Spurlock in 2012, whose listed address is of the MCG School of Dentistry Faculty Practice. GRU officials say they did not know the dealer is under investigation.
Random-source Class B Dealers are permitted to gather dogs and cats from various sources, including auctions, “free to good home” ads, online sources, flea markets and even animal control and some shelter facilities to resell to research facilities, according to the HSUS.
The HSUS also created a form to send complaints to GRU's president Dr. Ricardo Azziz.
HSUS news conference (Warning: Graphic video shown)