2018 USDA Inspection Report Notification

Southwest National Primate Research Center Releases 2018 USDA Inspection Report Findings

In April 2018, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) completed is annual inspection of Texas Biomedical Research Institute and the Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC), in which USDA veterinary inspectors reviewed all areas of animal care and treatment. The USDA reports comprise information on activities requiring corrective action.

During the inspection, USDA complimented SNPRC’s animal care team on the level of technical knowledge and passion for animal care. The inspectors also lauded both the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) as well as the animal facility managers. IACUC is an internal, independent group of scientists, veterinarians, staff and community member responsible for monitoring and approving all animal experiments.

“We are pleased with the USDA’s inspection, during which they expressed an appreciation for the facility improvements we have made the past year, as well as our focus on the prevention and proactive approach to problem-solving when adverse events occur,” said Dr. Robert Lanford, SNPRC Director. “Texas Biomed made a multi-million-dollar investment this past year in our facilities to ensure we have stayed up to date in both design and safety of our animal facilities.”

The April inspection report included one concern, which has been addressed. During a daily cage cleaning, two male rhesus macaque monkeys, which are traditionally kept separated to avoid conflict, came in contact with one another, causing injury to each other. The monkeys were immediately separated and provided veterinary care. Both animals recovered and are back within the colony. Employees underwent mandatory retraining in standard operating procedures for animal separation during cage maintenance.

Texas Biomedical Research Institute has a long-standing commitment to treating its animals humanely and with the highest regard for their well-being.

“The Institute continuously seeks to improve our facilities and procedures to ensure an event like this does not happen,” said Dr. John Bernal, SNPRC attending veterinarian. “We took immediate pre-emptive corrective action. Our highest priority is to enhance care provided to the primates, for the sake of the animals and the quality of the research programs.”

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