Group wants Morehouse med school fined after hamsters die during research

Louis W. Sullivan National Center for Primary Care on the campus of the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta.
Louis W. Sullivan National Center for Primary Care on the campus of the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta.

Credit: Thomson200

Credit: Thomson200

Stop Animal Exploitation Now wants the federal government to issue the stiffest fine possible against Morehouse School of Medicine after two hamsters died under a student’s watch.

The animal welfare group wrote in a letter dated Monday to the U.S. Department of Agriculture that it wants the agency to fine the Atlanta medical school $10,000, accusing the school of attempting to cover up the incident by not reporting the deaths, “despite statements to the contrary made by the Morehouse School of Medicine Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.”

The incident occurred in late June. One of the animals had fight wounds on its neck and back.

“[D]ue to MSM staff failure to follow the protocol, based on their inexperience and lack of training, they allowed animals to attack one another until two of them were so severely injured as to die despite veterinary treatment,” SAEN wrote in its letter to the USDA.

The medical school said in a statement Tuesday afternoon the student watching the animals failed to follow the protocol in reporting of injury and treatment of the two hamsters. The student was retrained and the school conducted other actions to address the situation.

"Morehouse School of Medicine is dedicated to training the next generation of health care leaders and conducts research that advances health inequities for all communities," the statement read, in part. "Like other world-class scientific institutes, MSM's scientific investigations with animals are imperative to that work."


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