S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe
out animal experimentation"
The Primate Experimentation Scandal, 2003
An Investigative Report
By Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T.,
Executive Director, SAEN
What kinds of Experiments are Performed on Primates?
Searches within the NIH CRISP system revealed some
common areas of experimentation that utilize primates. These areas of
experimentation were examined in macaque monkeys, the most commonly used
species of primates. CRISP searches reveal 29 experiments that study heart
disease in macaques, and 34 that study cancer. However, this same system
contains 55 projects that study cocaine in macaques, 54 that study
neurobiology, 34 that study alcohol, and 188 that study neural information
processing in macaques. Another 20 projects study macaque sex and an
additional 55 examine reproduction in macaques. It appears that the NIH is
more interested in getting primates drunk or stoned and showing them a
good time, than in curing real diseases.
The CRISP system lists a total of 1,070 projects that
involve macaque monkeys. 188, or 17.5% are in the area of neural
information processing. Another substantial (110 or 10.3%) set of grants
study alcohol or addictive drugs in macaques.
Macaque Monkey Project Categorization
Based on the National Institutes of Health CRISP system
Alcohol & Addictive Drugs
Neural information processing
Many of these experiments, by their very design (i.e.
experiments that study psychological stress, or neurobiology) potentially
subject primates to unrelieved pain and or distress. Facilities are
required by law to report experiments that cause unrelieved pain or
distress to the USDA, and explain why no anesthesia was used. Are these
experiments being reported?
One large laboratory that uses many primates in
experimentation is the New England Primate Research Center which is
affiliated with Harvard. During fiscal 2000 Harvard did not report any
primates as being used in experiments which involved unrelieved pain or
distress. An examination of the experiments conducted by researchers at
the Primate Center reveal a large number of projects which may have
subjected primates to unrelieved pain or distress. In fact, our
calculations (based on the fiscal 2000 Primate Center Progress Report
filed by Harvard with the NIH) reveal that as many as 605 primates may
have experienced unrelieved pain/distress at the New England Primate
Center, affiliated with Harvard. The projects which use these 605 primates
are listed in Appendix A of this report. Since it is a violation of
federal regulations to perform such experiments without reporting them as
potentially painful/stressful to the research subjects, an official
complaint will be filed with the USDA against Harvard to request an
It is also believed that many of the experiments
performed at the Wisconsin Primate Research Center potentially subject
primates to substantial pain and/or distress. These projects are also
listed in Appendix A
During Fiscal 2000 the University of Wisconsin, Madison
(home of the Wisconsin Primate Research Center) reported that no primates
felt any pain or distress during experimentation. This stands in direct
contradiction the very psychological nature of many of the experiments
(see Appendix A) performed at the Primate Center, which are purposely
designed to cause stress in primates. Therefore, it is believed by this
author that the University of Wisconsin, Madison has violated the Animal
Welfare Act, and an official complaint will be filed with the USDA to
investigate this situation as well.
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Recommendations of this Report
The Primate Experimentation Scandal,
2003 - An Investigative Report
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