Animal Writes
3 January 2001 Issue
Whistleblower Exposes Abuse of Monkeys at Oregon Regional Primate Research Center

Submitted by Rick Bogle with IDA
Oregon Health Sciences University

The Oregon Regional Primate Research Center, now incorporated into the Oregon Health Sciences University, OHSU-Star Park, has roughly 2,500 monkeys, mostly rhesus macaques. Each one of them has a unique personality with an individual life story to tell. I know because I have been working there as a technician for the past two years.

Working in the Psychological Well-Being department, I put my heart into trying to improve the abnormal behaviors displayed by our research monkeys. Despite my every effort, I was unable to effect meaningful change. I realized that one, or even a group of well-intentioned technicians cannot "fix" an industry with no real intention of changing. Through my personal observations, I now have a clear picture of the systemic flaws of the animal research industry. They acknowledge they're just a business. Grounded in assembly-line research with an unwritten code of acceptable losses, the industry's standard operating procedure is to cut corners and increase profits. Under the guise of improving human health, monkeys are abused, both outright and through neglect.

After personally getting to know these highly intelligent, socially complex animals, I cannot remain silent while thousands linger miserably in bare cages all alone. I am coming forward to share my failures, and give you a glimpse behind the locked doors and barbed wire of one of the National Institute of Health's Regional Primate Research Centers.

Go on to A Life Shared: Memories in Black and White
Return to 3 January 2001 Issue
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