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 Pennsylvania

USDA inspection reports from 6/20/02 indicate violations in the area of environmental enhancement for primates. Only two of 19 baboons are socially housed when the cages and protocols could clearly allow social housing. Seven of the seventeen cynomolgous monkeys are still not socially housed. Several primates do not have perches, and other more complex enrichment devices have not been used in months, even though the university apparently has them.

Several examples are illustrative: “Two single housed rhesus in IHGT are exhibiting stereotypic behaviors but are receiving no additional special enrichment. These are rhesus 94B106 who is stress pacing and AC3H who is very aggressive and exhibiting saluting behaviors.”

Inspection reports for May 16, 2003 discuss surgical procedures on several primates where post-operative analgesics were not used, despite provisions for the use of these drugs in the research protocol. In the Richards Building, animal facility, room 310, four primates are housed individually in cages that are too small for their needs.

There are multiple violations of environmental enhancement requirements. In the Richards Building three African Green Monkeys did not have so much as a perch in their cages. In room 309 of the same building four primates did not have perches. Five more primates in this building are not receiving adequate enhancement (lack of perches, swings, or devices improperly installed). Four more primates in this building are individually housed without even being able to see another primate. Three more primates that undergo “chair procedures” (are confined to primate restraint chairs) receive no special considerations to compensate for their specialized confinement.

As of May 15, 2003 the Nonhuman Primate Environmental Enrichment Plan has not been updated since 1997. Numerous research protocols are listed with various deficiencies. Many of these protocols are listed by number only and it is impossible to determine if they impact primates in any way.

Go on to:  Johns Hopkins University
See Facility Reports for University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
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