Do you remember Double Trouble? How could anyone forget?! This gentle tabby cat had holes drilled into her head, a metal post screwed into her skull, and steel coils implanted in her eyes at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW). 🙁
Dr. Richard “Jim” Brown, who used to work inside UW’s laboratories and oversaw the treatment of Double Trouble and other animals there, agrees with PETA’s allegations that violations of the Animal Welfare Act took place that “expos[ed] the animals to unnecessary pain.” Specifically, Dr. Brown confirms that laboratory staff failed to give Double Trouble and other cats proper anesthesia during surgery, failed to effectively address their chronic head wound infections and allowed other serious health problems to go untreated.
Dr. Brown has written to the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) expressing his disappointment that the agency did not cite UW after PETA filed an extensive complaint based on internal UW documents, and he’s urging the agency to reopen the investigation.
“I saw this research firsthand. Many of these cats suffered unnecessarily, and I made my concerns known to the principal investigator, colleagues and the UW-School of Medicine and Public Health [animal experimentation oversight committee] at the time. … I’m confident a second, focused review of the surgical records by [the USDA] would show the same concerns the veterinary staff observed during my time at Wisconsin, and during my later review of these medical records.”
Dr. Brown quit in 2010 after his concerns about the welfare of the animals were tossed aside by UW faculty and staff. But even though he is no longer employed by the university, he is still speaking up for animals used in UW’s laboratories.