A U.S. Department of Agriculture report says Wichita State University violated animal welfare laws when a researcher surgically removed ovaries from hamsters for three years without the university’s approval.
The USDA also found that WSU failed to include in three annual reports — 2006, 2007 and 2008 — information that animals were being used for experiments. At least 107 hamsters underwent surgical procedures during that time.
A routine inspection by the USDA on Sept. 14 found that that 54 hamsters had their ovaries surgically removed, and 31 died, between Dec. 16, 2006 and March 6, 2009. Approval of the protocol for the experiments had expired in 2005.
David McDonald, associate provost for research and dean of the graduate school at WSU, said neither the university nor the researcher were aware the approval had lapsed.
“Had we been aware, we certainly would’ve taken measures immediately,” he said.