By Kristi Eaton
The Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY — Improper euthanasia methods for dogs at a University of Oklahoma laboratory may mean the animals suffered pain as they were killed, and a federal investigation should take place, an animal rights activist said.
Michael Budkie, executive director of Ohio-based Stop Animal Exploitation Now!, said federal authorities should conduct an investigation into OU’s Health Sciences Center and institute the largest fine allowable by law against the facility.
An inspection report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted in August shows two citations against the facility. Budkie provided the reports to The Associated Press.
One citation was for an improper euthanasia method for dogs. The report states that the dogs were electrocuted using a 9-volt battery applied to the heart. Anesthesia was used at the time of euthanasia.
However, the same report cites the facility for not using correct surgical anesthesia. The principal investigator used injectable anesthesia, which can wear off during surgery.
“The combination of these two violations mean that several dogs in the lab at the University of Oklahoma could have been killed by electrocution to the heart while not fully anesthetized — they could have felt the pain of electrocution,” Budkie wrote in the letter dated Oct. 4 to the USDA.