By Andy Sheehan

LAWRENCEVILLE (KDKA) — Back in March, PETA sent KDKA an undercover video taken inside Pitt’s Rangos Research Center in Lawrenceville, alleging widespread abuse of research animals — mostly monkeys and rabbits.

Pitt denied the claims and an investigative team from the U.S. Department of Agriculture did not cite the university for any violations.

But Tuesday, PETA fired another salvo at Pitt claiming 50 additional incidents of abuse on research mice. PETA’s Alka Chandna says mice were subjected to pain and injury and deprived of basic care.

“It should not be difficult for a facility to, for example, remember to give water to animals, remember to feed animals,” Chanda said. “Make sure that if they used animals in painful invasive experimental surgeries that they give those animals pain relief.”

But here again, Pitt says these latest claims have already been investigated by the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare which issued no citations. In a statement, Pitt said:

“The University’s animal research program has led to a number of breakthroughs in medical care, and the University of Pittsburgh is committed to the highest standards of care for all research animals.”

PETA says the problem is there are few prohibitions against the treatment of mice and rats, which it believes should have the same protections as other animals.

“There may be stereotype or prejudices that we have against these animals, but surely, in 2017, we all recognize that these animals feel pain,” Chandra said. “And in addition to feeling pain, they suffer. There’s a psychological dimension to their pain.”

But for Pitt the matter is closed, the university has not been sanctioned, and the university says it is following all appropriate protocols in the treatment of laboratory animals.

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