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1 July 2001 Issue
Another Coulston Chimpanzee Dead

from In Defense of Animals (IDA) - ida@idausa.org 

Alamogordo, NM (June 25, 2001) - Yet another young chimpanzee has died from negligence at the notorious Coulston Foundation, In Defense of Animals (IDA) charged today.

According to whistleblowers who initially contacted People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a chimpanzee named Gina died on June 5 after she had been locked outside in searing heat for hours.

A list of chimpanzees at Coulston obtained through the Freedom of Information Act shows two chimpanzees named Gina and Jena. Gina would have been only 12 years old at the time of this death, while Jena would have been only 17.

The whistleblowers allege that she died from causes related to the sun and heat. According to National Weather Service climatologist James Ashby (775-674-7010), the temperature recorded at Holloman Air Force Base reached 91 degrees on June 5. Because the day was clear, with 40-mile visibility, both the sun and the heat beat down on Gina for hours.

Gina died at Coulston's LaVelle Road facility, which is near Holloman Air Force Base.

According to IDA, Gina's death is simply the latest in a long line of negligent, preventable chimpanzee deaths at Coulston, which is the only lab in the 35-year history of the Animal Welfare Act to have three sets of formal U.S. Department of Agriculture charges filed against it for negligent primate deaths.

On August 24, 1999, Coulston signed a federal consent decree with the USDA which mandated, among other things, that the lab must "fully comply" with the Animal Welfare Act. Since that time, every single USDA inspection report has documented violations of both the federal order and the Act, while Gina is at least the third chimpanzee to have died from negligence during that time span. The USDA currently has open investigations into the deaths of the two others, Donna and Ray.

"Gina is simply the latest victim of Coulston's negligence and the government's willful failure to enforce the law," said IDA Research Director Eric Kleiman. "The federal government must take over this abysmal lab - before it kills again - and permanently retire the over 300 chimpanzees imprisoned there."

WHAT YOU CAN DO: DEMAND THAT ACTION BE TAKEN NOW!!

Please contact your Congressional Representatives and ask them to see that the remaining 300 chimps are placed in a loving sanctuary where theywill at long last be cared for under decent conditions. This abhorrent situation must not be allowed to continue.

and from PeTA:

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT REWARDS UNETHICAL AND POSSIBLY CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR

The Coulston Foundation (TCF) is a chimpanzee laboratory/death camp located in Alamogordo, New Mexico, that is guilty of killing dozens of chimpanzees and violating hundreds of provisions of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

In 1999, as part of its settlement agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regarding violations of the AWA, TCF agreed to divest itself of 300 chimpanzees and restrict the breeding and acquisition of new chimpanzees. TCF also agreed that in order to breed chimpanzees, it would have to identify to the USDA "long-term funding sources" for the animals.

Recently, 14 chimpanzees were born as a result of breeding by TCF. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is planning to buy the infants for $400,000, despite already owning a "surplus" of chimpanzees. According to Judith Vaitukaitis, director of NIH's National Center for Research

Resources, her office was concerned that the animals "would be sold to the entertainment business" if NIH didn't act. The fact that NIH has to bail TCF out by purchasing the animals proves that it did not identify "long-term funding sources" for the animals as required by the USDA, thereby making the breeding of the 14 chimpanzees illegal.

NIH should not reward TCF for breeding chimpanzees when there is no place for the ones currently being "retired" from research and when the foundation may have done so illegally; the infants should be seized and placed in an appropriate sanctuary. Instead of prolonging the suffering endured by animals at TCF and exacerbating the "surplus" chimpanzee crisis by continually devising new, innovative, and possibly illegal ways to keep TCF afloat, NIH should close this notorious facility, thereby saving taxpayer dollars and animal lives.

Please write the USDA and demand that it fine TCF $100,000 if TCF violated its agreement with the agency in any way

Go on to AMA Urges Phaseout of Antibiotic Use On Animals
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