Harvard animal lab cited in USDA check

Aug. 17, 2011 at 2:29 PM

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Aug. 17 (UPI) -- A Harvard University animal research center has been cited in the death of a primate incorrectly given anesthesia, federal officials say.

The citation was one of five issued as a result of a July inspection of several Harvard animal research facilities by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, The Boston Globe reported Wednesday.

Other problems cited by the USDA included flaking paint and rust in a surgical space, garbage bins left uncovered and inadequate cleaning of primate handling equipment, the newspaper said.

Inspectors said the primate death occurred in February when an overdose of anesthesia led to kidney failure and the death of a test subject.

Corrective actions have been taken to address the violations, Harvard said in a statement.

"We immediately engaged two external consultants and initiated a review process while taking action to reinforce strict compliance with established protocols," the statement said.

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