Primate Experimentation in the US:
The Facts We Weren’t Supposed to Know

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Primate Experimentation in the US: The Facts We Weren’t Supposed to Know
By Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T.
513-575-5517 saen@saenonline.org  

University of California, San Francisco

Inspection reports for the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) beginning in September of 2000 reveal a continuing pattern of animal abuse and neglect. On September 27 and 28 USDA/APHIS officials performed an inspection of UCSF labs as a result of a complaint which was filed against the facility. Their inspections found that the complaint was “basically valid.” The complaint centered around experimentation on primates which denied them sufficient food and water. Violations in areas of IACUC, Personnel Qualifications, Veterinary care (“Monkey #17562 was identified as not being a good candidate for a water restriction study, due to a chronic diarrhea problem, according to veterinary statements in the animal’s medical record. The records did not indicate a resolution of the chronic diarrhea [a water loss problem], yet this animal remained assigned to the protocol and was placed on a long-term water restriction schedule in October 1999. The animal was also noted as thin and not gaining weight as early as July 13, 1999, yet no medical attention was provided for this problem until August, 2000.”), Handling, and Feeding. The inspector concludes the report with a very damning statement: “In my professional judgment, the nutritional requirements of these animals were not met for either food or water.”

On 5/17 – 25/01 UCSF is cited for IACUC violations for performing survival surgery on an animal that was sick, and for inappropriately monitoring a research protocol that involved confining primates to restraint chairs for a period of up to 8 hours, and improper use of post-operative analgesics. UCSF is also cited for inadequate veterinary care of sheep at this time.

On 7/30/01 UCSF is again inspected as a result of a complaint. The complaint was apparently filed because a primate had been ill and vomiting for approximately 5 weeks. This primate was also involved in a training protocol that involved water restriction.

On 1/28/02 the UCSF IACUC is again cited for ineffective monitoring of experimental procedures. Specifically, the primate water restriction project is mentioned again. Insufficient means of monitoring the weight loss of primates, and the endpoint necessary for the advent of veterinary involvement are deemed to be insufficient. The lab is also cited for inappropriate feed storage, primary enclosures, sanitation, and inappropriate waste disposal.

On 8/5/02 UCSF is again cited for IACUC violations for investigators not following experimental protocols, insufficient administration of analgesics, insufficient consideration given to potentially painful and stressful procedures (in primates), and inadequate veterinary care. The veterinary care incident involved a marmoset that had been allowed to lose 36% of his/her body weight without receiving any treatment. Violations in sanitation and cleaning are again mentioned.

On 2/4/03 UCSF is again cited for IACUC violations regarding post-surgical monitoring of primates and inadequate use of analgesics. These violations involve projects where holes were bored into the skulls of primates. The facility is also cited for falsification of animal records and inadequate sanitation.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle the United States Department of Agriculture has recently filed charges against UCSF for:

”-- Doing a craniotomy to expose a monkey's brain without administering post-operative analgesics.

-- Over-breeding marmoset monkeys.

-- Depriving monkeys of water, resulting in severe weight loss.

-- Not monitoring animals after surgery.”

Go on to:  University of Washington, Seattle
See Facility Reports for University of California, San Francisco, CA
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