NORMAN — Following allegations that researchers euthanized dogs improperly, a University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center official said the university will work to ensure that all future procedures are handled more appropriately.
According to a report from a U.S. Department of Agriculture investigation in August, OU was cited for using an improper method to euthanize dogs. According to the report, the dogs were electrocuted using a 9-volt battery applied to the heart.
The dogs were under anesthesia at the time they were killed, but the report states the anesthetic researchers used wasn't approved by the university's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, which oversees how animals are used in research.
In a statement, Gary White, director of the center's division of comparative medicine, said the center follows guidelines laid out by the American Veterinary Medical Association for the euthanasia of animals.
“However, on a recent USDA inspection they stated a preference for a different protocol which involves the injection of an anesthetic, which the OUHSC has adopted,” White said. “The USDA did cite OU for two cases where a different anesthetic was used.”
Michael Budkie, director of the animal rights group Stop Animal Exploitation Now, said the method of anesthesia the researchers used could have allowed animals to feel pain as they died.