Forty Years of Fraud:
Forty Years of Fraud:
Purpose of the Primate Centers
In addition to performing internal research projects, one of the stated goals of the Primate Center system was to provide research resources to outside investigators/laboratories. Have the Primate Centers been able to perform this task? Have more primates gone to internal or external projects? Are the Primate Centers even correctly constituted to legally sell/transfer primates to other facilities?
During fiscal 1999 the eight Primate Centers sold or transferred only 767 out of 25,094 to outside laboratories. This accounts for only 3% of the animals in the Primate Center system. We must conclude that this aspect of the system has been a failure. Why?
The Primate Centers seem to be unable to produce even the primates required to meet their own experimental use. There were 3463 primate births in the Primate Centers in 1999. However, there were 3000 primate deaths in 1999. 1633 (54.4%) were non-experimental deaths. The internal death toll, coupled with a very high infant mortality rate, has left the Primate Centers virtually unable to meet even their own needs. Despite almost 40 years of grants totaling potentially billions of tax dollars, these facilities cannot even be self-sufficient. Only one of the eight Primate Centers appears to have been able to maintain colony size without obtaining additional primates from external sources. In at least this respect, the Primate Center system can be considered to be a failure.
Another area worthy of discussion is the issue of primates that are sold or transferred to other facilities. Despite their inability to fulfill their own needs, the Primate Centers are all engaged in the sale and/or transfer of primates to other facilities. The sale of primates, or other species regulated by the Animal Welfare Act, requires that any entity engaged in these practices be licensed as an animal dealer. However, only three of the eight Primate Centers are currently licensed with USDA/APHIS as animal dealers. Therefore these unlicensed laboratories are violating the Animal Welfare Act. The apparently unlicensed facilities include the University of California (Davis), Emory University, Harvard, the University of Washington (Seattle), and the University of Wisconsin (Madison).
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