Activists to protest today against lab animal treatment at Children's Hospital

Animal welfare activists are staging a protest today near Children's Hospital in Philadelphia as part of a National Day of Mourning for Animals in Laboratories.

Philadelphia Animal ACTivists said their event - to be held at 1:30 at the southwest corner of 34th and Spruce - is being held to shine light on the loss of lambs and other animals killed at the hospital earlier this year.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection report found that employees at CHildren's HOspital inaccurately mixed formular for lambs who were languishing likely from lack of nutrition. The lambs had to be euthanized as a result, the report said.

Earlier this month. the Inquirer reported the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), which has lodged numerous complaints about the use of animals in lab testing at the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania and other area hospitals, said it would file a complaint with USDA against Albert Einstein Medical Center for violating the Animal Weldfare Act for using kittens to teach intubation when guidelines say that models are equally effective.

In October Penn was warned by USDA about the treatment of its lab animals. (Read my report here), noting that two dogs had interdigital cysts (often from standing on wire flooring), dirty and algae-filled water containers for four horses, and three gerbil deaths that occurred because of "unsuitable sipper tubes."

In a review of inspection reports from 2008 to 2011 by the Agriculture Department, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine found that the eight Ivy League universities had what it called "disturbingly high numbers of Animal Welfare Act violations," many of which were repeat or severe.