Texas Biomedical Research Institute and the Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC) recently completed its regular, annual inspection by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in which USDA veterinary inspectors review all areas of animal care and treatment. The USDA reports comprise information on activities requiring corrective action.
Texas Biomedical Research Institute has a long-standing commitment to treating its animals humanely and with the highest regard for their well-being. Unforeseen events do rarely occur, and immediate and appropriate action is taken to ensure the ongoing safety of our animals. All such events are also reported to the Office of Lab Animal Welfare and the USDA, per protocol.
The May 2023 USDA inspection report includes a count of all species at the time of inspection and one critical finding, which was reported and addressed prior to the inspection.
During an incident in early 2023, while shifting animals from one area of the caging to another for cleaning, an animal was startled, causing a care staff member to lose grip of the chute door. The door fell on the animal’s hand, prompting immediate veterinary attention. The animal underwent surgery, recovered well and is in good health following the incident.
To prevent any future occurrence, employees immediately implemented changes to the shifting procedures, including development of a pulley and locking system for chute doors and utilizing additional staff, as needed. These actions create a redundancy ensuring cages do not fall after being lifted. An internal review by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee found that, while procedures were followed, the implemented changes make the process safer for both employees and the animals. Standard operating protocols for shifting animals were updated to include these changes.
The USDA found the response appropriate and noted corrective action had been taken by the time of inspection.
Commitment to Care
The Institute closely monitors and continuously seeks to enhance care provided to the primates, for the sake of the animals and the quality of the research programs.
“Any time an issue arises that impacts the safety and well-being of the animals in our care, we focus on identifying and implementing the appropriate corrective action, even before USDA notes these issues,” said Dr. Corinna Ross, Director of the Southwest National Primate Research Center. “USDA indicated our corrective action was appropriate. Our responsibility to excellent care is first and foremost, as these animals enable scientists worldwide to conduct research studies that benefit both animal and human health.”
About the Southwest National Primate Research Center at Texas Biomed
Texas Biomed is one of the world’s leading independent biomedical research institutions dedicated to advancing health worldwide through innovative biomedical research focused on protecting the global community from the threats of infectious diseases. The Institute is home to the Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC) and provides broad services in primate research. SNPRC contributes to a national network of National Primate Research Centers (NPRCs) with specialized technologies, capabilities and primate resources, many of which are unique to the SNPRC. The Center also serves investigators around the globe with research and technical procedures for collaborative projects. For more information on Texas Biomed, go to www.TxBiomed.org or for more information on SNPRC, visit www.SNPRC.org.