The University of Nevada, Reno, under fire the last two years for alleged animal abuse at its research farms, was cited for three minor infractions in an unannounced inspection by the U.S Department of Agriculture, university officials said Thursday.
None of the findings involved improper care of animals, said
Mark Brenner, UNR vice president of research.
The two-day inspection conducted last week was "aggressive and
thorough," Brenner said.
Inspectors directed the school to justify its use of
"Havahart-style" traps to capture rodents live in baited, wire
"We just have to validate that there isn't another better
way," UNR spokeswoman Jane Tors said.
The school also was told to revise its protocol for keeping
track of sheep and ewes considered for - but not used - in
"USDA is asking for additional documents that they were not
used and remain in a production flock," Tors said.
The report also ordered a laboratory bench and countertop in a
rodent room in the biology building be cleared of clutter - such as
bits of old bedding, sun flower seeds, pens, pencils and markers.
"Many of the items could be discarded or removed and only
essential materials maintained in the area," inspectors wrote,
noting the area is used to clean animal enclosures. "This is
necessary for the health and well being of the animals."
Last March, UNR was cited for 46 animal welfare violations and
fined $11,400 following a seven-month probe into allegations of
animal abuse at the College of Agriculture.
A follow-up inspection in October found 10 violations.
"University faculty and staff members have worked diligently to
improve our animal care program, and these recent inspections
indicate that this effort and investment is paying off," Joe
Crowley, UNR's interim president, said in a written statement.
"It is our goal to continue to improve."