A comprehensive new report on the use of non-human primates in federally
regulated vivisection labs was issued today by SAEN (Stop Animal Exploitation
Now). The report on the state of primate research is based on USDA
documentation, including the little-known “exemptions” to welfare laws that mean
animals can be deprived of enrichment, food, and water; that permit severe
confinement; that deny anesthesia for procedures; and that even allow cages to
go weeks without cleaning.
Captive monkey at Princeton University
The report, authored by SAEN co-founder and executive director Michael
Budkie, calls out Emory University, Harvard Medical School, University of
Louisiana at Lafayette, the National Institutes of Health, Oregon Health
Sciences University, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and Wake Forest
University for together exempting 41 percent of the primates in their care from
basic standards set by the Animal Welfare Act.
In a clear conflict of interest, these exemptions to the AWA are decided by
the very organizations that stand to benefit.
“The committees empowered to…exempt animals from Animal Welfare Act
regulations are comprised of employees of the institutions that receive funding
to perform the experiments,” said the report. “These individuals have a vested
interest in approving experiments because that keeps the federal funding rolling
into their employer.”
The report also includes statements from current and/or former employees at
prominent facilities, whistleblowers who stated while they are not ethically
opposed to animal experimentation, they were “uniformly horrified” by what they
“I was once allowed to watch a necropsy,” said the anonymous whistleblower at
Oregon Health Sciences University’s Oregon Primate Research Center. “No
medications, the monkey was made to bleed, then cut open and organs removed as
he bled to death. [I] was told it was necessary for accurate studies.”
“Because a member of our staff had an outside connection it was always known
EXACTLY what day and time the FDA and/or USDA would be at Princeton for
inspections,” said an unnamed worker at Princeton who gave numerous examples of
animal cruelty and neglect he/she witnessed.
The infamous New Iberia Research Center at University of Louisiana, Lafayette
confines approximately 7500 non-human primates, 1773 of whom are used in
experimentation and 5716 confined for later use or breeding. Whistleblower
testimony revealed numerous examples of veterinary neglect, poor animal health,
and poor working conditions.
“I have seen animals with diarrhea for days upon days, but because of the
study are simply given half of a banana and a Pepto-Bismol,” said the worker.
“The techs from the veterinary department would sometimes leave the Pepto-Bismol
on the door of the cage. The animal would reach for it and most times the
Pepto-Bismol would fall in their feces to the tray below.”
According to current USDA statistics, laboratories in the U.S. confine and
torture more than 125,000 non-human primates – an all-time high. October 15-23
is National Primate Liberation Week. For actions scheduled near you please click
here. Although some events have already taken place, there are still ongoing
campaigns that need the support of animal activists.
Please see The Thinking Vegan’s interview with SAEN’s Michael Budkie here:
December 15, 2011 Issue
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