UCSF, USDA settle animal welfare complaint

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The University of California-San Francisco in September announced a settlement had been reached with the U.S. government over a complaint the university's animal research program failed to comply with federal animal welfare regulations during a two-year period.

Last year, the Department of Agriculture charged UCSF—one of the nation's largest recipients of research grants from the National Institutes of Health—with 61 counts of violating the Animal Welfare Act between May 2001 and February 2003 (see JAVMA, Dec. 1, 2004).

The act requires that minimal standards of care and treatment be provided for certain animals, including those used in research. Inspectors with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service make unannounced inspections at all licensed and registered facilities at least once annually to monitor compliance with the law.

Although UCSF did not admit to any of the allegations listed in the complaint, the university agreed to follow all rules and regulations of the Animal Welfare Act and pay a $92,500 civil penalty.