An organization critical of animal experimentation will have to shore up its lawsuit that alleges the abuse of animals by USC in the institution’s research in order for it to move forward, a judge has ruled.

Stop Animal Exploitation Now alleges that documents it obtained show USC routinely violates its mandatory research protocols as well as applicable animal welfare laws and regulations. But in a statement issued Thursday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dennis Landin said the complaint needs details and should be amended. He gave the plaintiffs 20 days to do so.

The suit was filed June 24, alleging that USC “claims it achieves the highest ethical standards in its research … but privately, USC has a pattern and practice of subjecting animals to needless suffering and unnecessary cruelty.”

Lawyers for USC stated in their court papers that the organization lacked standing to bring the suit because there was no demonstration that its interests were harmed. In addition, USC previously issued a statement regarding the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages and an order enjoining further alleged misconduct involving animals.

“USC meets or exceeds all accrediting and regulatory standards,” the statement read. “USC is highly committed to the ethical and humane treatment of animals in research.”

According to the suit, USC researchers killed baby animals by placing them in a carcass-disposal freezer while still alive, performed unauthorized surgeries and injections on animals, withheld post-operative care and failed to euthanize in a timely manner animals languishing with ulcerated tumors.

“These practices find no refuge under the guise of research, nor does the banner of science provide a free pass for all manner of abuse,” according to the lawsuit.

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