Special prosecutor named to investigate animal cruelty charges against UW-Madison researchersWisconsin News
- A special prosecutor was named yesterday to consider animal cruelty charges against nine people at UW-Madison accused of killing sheep in experiments.
MADISON - A special prosecutor was named yesterday to consider animal cruelty charges against nine people at UW-Madison accused of killing sheep in experiments.
Members of the UW’s Diving Physiology Lab exposed the sheep to compressed air, to test a possible treatment for decompression sickness. Outgoing Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard said last year the experiments were probably illegal, but it would not be worth using his limited resources to file charges. That decision allowed the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to ask a judge to pursue the case. Circuit Judge Amy Smith ruled yesterday there was probable cause that cruelty was committed. She asked Madison attorney David Geier to decide if criminal charges are warranted – or if lesser citations should be considered.
Geier will also recommend whether an injunction should be issued to stop the experiments. A number of sheep died in the experiments, but Smith said only four deaths fell within the three-year statute of limitations. They occurred in 2007-and-’08.