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Articles and Reports

Letter of Complaint to the USDA about the University of California, Davis


1081-B St. Rt. 28 PMB 280
Milford, Ohio 45150
513-575-5517
www.saenonline.org 

10/16/09

Dr. Robert Gibbens
Director, Western Region
USDA/APHIS/AC
2150 Centre Ave.
Building B, Mailstop 3W11
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117

Dr. Gibbens,

I am contacting you today regarding documents in my possession which are relevant to the University of California, Davis.

I am very concerned about the high number of wounds and traumatic injuries that are reported at this facility which have lead to the deaths of 14 primates from June of 2008 through April of 2009. The number of traumatic deaths is high that I believe situations exist at this facility which violate these sections of the animal welfare act:

2.33 (b) Each research facility shall establish and maintain programs of adequate veterinary care that include:
(1) The availability of appropriate facilities, personnel, equipment, and services to comply with the provisions of this subchapter;
(2) The use of appropriate methods to prevent, control, diagnose, and treat diseases and injuries, and the availability of emergency, weekend, and holiday care;

And:

2.31 (d) IACUC review of activities involving animals. (1) In order to approve proposed activities or proposed significant changes in ongoing activities, the IACUC shall conduct a review of those components of the activities related to the care and use of animals and determine that the proposed activities are in accordance with this subchapter unless acceptable justification for a departure is presented in writing; Provided, however, That field studies as defined in part 1 of this subchapter are exempt from this requirement. Further, the IACUC shall determine that the proposed activities or significant changes in ongoing activities meet the following requirements:
(i) Procedures involving animals will avoid or minimize discomfort, distress, and pain to the animals;

The statements made in the necropsy reports for these 14 animals pain a gruesome picture. The necropsy report for primate MMU 34695 states the he suffered from “Extensive, severe lacerations/crush trauma” and “This animal succumbed to the effects of severe cagemate induced trauma . . . “ Primate MMU 38475 had “extensive musculocutaneous trauma, including an open wound on the right elbow with an exposed fragment of the coronoid process and multiple severed fingers and toes” and “This animal was likely the subject intense dislike from cagemates resulting in violence.” The post mortem records of the remaining twelve primates are sprinkled with similar statements indicating a high level of violence experienced by the primates within this facility.

It is unclear if this violence comes from other primates, or from human caretakers. In either case, primates within a controlled facility should not die from these kinds of injuries. This is a clear violation of several sections of the Animal Welfare Act.
I look forward to hearing of the results of your investigation as soon as possible. Please consider this a FOIA request for the results of your investigation (all documents generated as part of your investigation (including correspondence, emails, inspection reports, photos, etc.), made under the federal Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. sec. 552.

Sincerely,


Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T.,
Executive Director, SAEN

See: University of California, Davis
       California National Primate Research Center Necropsy Report - 2009

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