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Penn State Medical School Ends Primate Research; Research Watchdog Group Praises "A Major Step Forward"

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Penn State Medical School Ends Primate Research; Research Watchdog Group Praises "A Major Step Forward"

From Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! (SAEN)
July 2012

Harrisburg/Hershey, PA – Following the issuance of an official warning against the Penn State University Medical School for the negligent death of a non-human primate, Pennsylvania State University has confirmed that the use of non-human primates in experimentation at the Medical School has ended.

An article in the Patriot News which ran on June 29th stated: “Penn State Hershey spokeswoman MeganWalde Manlove said the unexpected death of the monkey prompted an immediate halt to the project and an internal investigation. Penn State implemented USDA-required corrections.

Manlove also said the college studied the primate research program and determined it was not feasible to continue making the investment of resources and infrastructure to maintain it. The program has been discontinued.”

Penn State has since clarified the statement to indicate that the program ended in August of 2011, stating “Primates are no longer used in research here, and at this time, there are no plans to re-open the program.”

“Penn State is clearly making substantial progress in the area of animal research,” said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, SAEN. “Primate research in the United States is beginning to wane, and Penn State has recognized this direction and has taken a major step forward.”

Across the U.S. the use of primates in laboratories appears to be changing. The Institute of Medicine released a report in late 2011 which stated that: “ . . . most current use of chimpanzees for biomedical research is unnecessary.” Additionally, Bioqual (a Maryland lab that uses chimpanzees) is currently transferring all chimpanzees to another facility. Additionally, the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act of 2011 (a bill which is currently before Congress) would eliminate all use of chimpanzees.