USDA cites Fort Valley State for animal welfare violations

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Fort Valley State University received seven violations in the last USDA inspection of its Department of Veterinary Services.

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The federal government cited Fort Valley State University for seven violations during an annual inspection of its veterinary service last July.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture veterinarian wrote during his July 27 inspection that cages for guinea pigs and rabbits had not been properly cleaned, eight dogs were housed in temporary cages too small for them, and several rabbits and dogs had not been properly cleaned. had their nails cut.

the the report was tabled in October and made public last week. In it, veterinarian Stephanie Maynard described a series of violations, including:

  • Long nails on rabbits and dogs

  • Two dogs with unidentified foot problems

  • Eight dogs housed in temporary kennels that did not meet ‘minimum floor space and interior height requirements’, including two housed in six-foot-square pens

  • Eight guinea pig cages with “excessive accumulation of excrement” to the point where “there was nowhere for the guinea pigs to walk without excrement…”

  • Droppings and urine puddles under rabbit enclosures

The report also said FVSU lacked required information in six teaching protocols. The USDA conducts inspections of animals used in research institutes under the Animal Welfare Act 1966.

The university was expected to remedy most problems within a few weeks.

In response to the USDA report, Fort Valley State University released a statement that it takes the welfare of its animals “very seriously.”

“The humane and responsible treatment of the animals in our care is and always has been a priority,” the statement said. “We work closely with the USDA to ensure the health and welfare of the animals in our care. The USDA raised concerns following their visit in July, and we quickly responded to those concerns and continue to prioritize the care of our animals.

Caleb Slinkard is the editor of the Macon Telegraph. Previously, he managed the newsrooms of the El Dorado (Ark.) News-Times, the Norman (Okla.) Transcript and the Greenville (Texas) Herald-Banner. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University-Commerce and has taught journalism courses and internships at the University of Oklahoma and Mercer University.

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