The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) responded to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) inspectors noting multiple citations.

The report stated that the handling of animals has not been done carefully, leading to "trauma, injury, stress, discomfort, and/or death."

"UAB's highly trained researchers work with animals to advance science and medicine," said UAB director of public relations Alicia Rohan. "One of their chief responsibilities is the respectful and humane treatment of animals."

Following the inspection report, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) suggested that UAB should get out of the business of "tormenting animals."

RELATED: UAB accused of tormenting animals following USDA inspection, citing trauma, injury, death

"We do not comment on specific concerns raised by animal activist groups, but it is important to note that our research is highly regulated and monitored to meet and exceed policies of regulatory and accrediting agencies," Rohan added. "In the rare instances where compliance issues are identified, our practice is to self-report to the appropriate regulatory agency and deploy corrective actions in coordination with the regulatory agency's oversight."

Rohan added that animal research is a "critical component of life-saving medical advancements for humans and animals alike."

UAB and affiliated hospitals operate approximately 215,000 square feet of animal research laboratories. The Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC) accredited the research.

AAALAC is currently conducting a triennial site visit at UAB.

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