LUBBOCK, Texas — An animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, released a statement on Wednesday after an inspection report from the United States Department of Agriculture found that a piglet at Texas Tech University had to be euthanized after going without water for an “unknown period of time.”
According to a USDA inspection report from December 13, four animals in the same pen did not eat overnight on September 28 and “appeared thin.” It was discovered that a hose was disconnected from a watering device.
Records indicated that pigs went an “unknown period of time [without] water,” the report stated. One of the four pigs started to show “neurologic signs of salt toxicity and seizures.” After failing to respond to treatment, the pig has to be euthanized, according to the report. The cause for the disconnected hose was not known, according to the inspection report.
“Corrective actions were implemented, to include retraining of the caretaker and care staff for checking hose connections, normal pig behavior and disease states, and adding a second health check later in the evening, which is performed by a different caretaker on alternating days,” the report stated.
Texas Tech University released the following statement from EverythingLubbock.com:
“We are aware of the referenced inspection report. We have enhanced our processes, including additional staff training and schedule adjustments, to ensure the physical and psychological well-being of all animals in our care.“
In a statement sent to EverythingLubbock.com on Wednesday, PETA Vice President of Laboratory Investigations Dr. Alka Chandna called on the National Institutes of Health to “turn off the money spigot” for Texas Tech University.
“Texas Tech University’s negligence and incompetence constitute animal abuse, and PETA has filed a complaint with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), calling on the agency to turn off the money spigot to the school. If Texas Tech laboratory staff can’t remember to give piglets something as basic as water, the university has no business experimenting on these smart, social, and sensitive animals. The agony of dying of thirst is the same whether the victim is a pig or a human.
Texas Tech received more than $5 million in taxpayer money from NIH last year, but such largesse brings with it a legal expectation that the university will comply with minimum animal welfare laws. Texas Tech should modernize its research program by leaving cruel and archaic experiments on animals behind and using only sophisticated, human-relevant research methods instead.”
– Statement from Dr. Alka Chandna
Another USDA inspection report from December 13 found that caretakers “failed to communicate” with facility veterinarians when two deer were “potentially injured.”
EverythingLubbock.com reached out to Texas Tech University offering the chance to comment. We will provide an update if TTU accepts the invitation.