VIV monkey Hope at ONPRC VS USDA Fails Animals, Science, and Taxpayers by Not Doing Its Job

USDA Fails Animals, Science, and Taxpayers by Not Doing Its Job

Texas A&M University: PETA obtained video footage revealing that golden retrievers and other dogs were deliberately bred to develop crippling and painful canine muscular dystrophy (MD). Records we obtained showed dogs in the canine MD laboratory were suffering horribly. We filed multiple complaints with the USDA, sharing details from the records to make the case that the school was violating animal welfare regulations and dogs had either died in their kennels or were in terrible peril. The USDA found nothing wrong.

In October 2019, PETA informed the USDA of a dog named Lunes—a 6-year-old golden retriever with canine MD who was found dead in his kennel. Lunes’ records indicated that he was in declining health. In 2018 alone, more than 130 notations documented that he had not finished his food. There was no indication that Texas A&M did anything to investigate or treat Lunes’ poor appetite. In June 2019, he died—alone—in a barren, concrete-and-metal kennel, where he was very possibly cold and experiencing significant pain and distress.

In November 2019, we informed the USDA about a dog named Pee Wee, another golden retriever with canine MD who was in deteriorating health and had a significantly waning appetite. Numerous notations spanning years indicated that he was leaving some or all of his food. We asked the USDA to intervene. The agency declined.

In October 2021, PETA raised concerns with the USDA regarding six additional dogs afflicted with canine MD—Bruno, Ganondorf, Jumba, Ned, Garen, and Grinch—who endured protracted suffering before they were finally euthanized or died in their kennels.

Jelly at Texas AM TAMU Dog Golden USDA Fails Animals, Science, and Taxpayers by Not Doing Its Job
Jelly, shown here in an article about canine muscular dystrophy (MD) experiments, suffered from damaged ligaments and weakened muscles after developing MD. Experimenters used her and other dogs to search for pharmacologic therapies for the disease—an effort that failed. LAR Journal | Oxford Academic

In August 2022, PETA filed another complaint with the USDA, informing the agency that Pee Wee had continued to lose muscle. He was unable to stand on February 14, 15, and 16, 2022. On March 13 and 21, records indicate that staff observed that Pee Wee was “quiet.” He refused all treats, needed help to rise, was slow to move, and vomited in his cage. Pee Wee was found dead in his kennel on the morning of March 26.

The USDA did nothing through all of this and has remained silent to this day.

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