Ohio State University: A Year of Cruelty
Ohio State University (OSU) has had a year riddled with incidents of animal cruelty and neglect. Despite widespread opposition from physicians, neurologists, animal protection advocates, and disability activists, OSU refused to cancel its three-week spinal cord injury course, nicknamed “Cruelty 101.” In this course, students drop heavy weights onto the exposed spinal cords of rats and mice and then force the animals to perform various exercises. More than 300 neurologists and neurosurgeons have joined PCRM in asking OSU officials to implement alternatives to the class.
In mid-July, a power outage at OSU resulted in the deaths of almost 700 animals, including mice, rats, and rabbits. Not only was there no backup generator to provide light and air-conditioning during the peak of summer, but in some places, the heat was actually switched on. There was no system in place to alert any authority about the risks to the animals. In response, PCRM filed a request with the Council on Accreditation of the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International for a revocation of OSU’s animal research accreditation. OSU had already been warned by the association in February 2006 that it could lose its accreditation if prescribed changes to its animal research programs were not put in place.
The university also recently sent its retired colony of research chimpanzees and monkeys to a facility in San Antonio without ensuring that the facility was capable of caring for them. Five chimps at the facility, including two from OSU, have died since March.