USDA Fines Vanderbilt for Animal Deaths in Lab

Vanderbilt University had been fined over $8,000 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for violations of the Animal Welfare Act in connection with three incidents of animal deaths at a university research facility.

In April 2008, a galago (bush baby) was found dead in a washing machine after someone from the lab "failed to ensure that all animals were removed from fabric nesting boxes prior to them being washed." The galago was a newborn unnoticed by the worker, who removed the mother and put the cloth nesting basket in a load of laundry.

In September and October of 2008, two separate incidents in which hamsters were administered improperly mixed experimental compounds resulted in the death of one hamster and required the euthanization of four others. In addition to the fines, Vanderbilt also agreed to review its laboratory procedures.