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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

Articles and Reports

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

Heart Disease 29
Sex 21
Cancer 34
Neurobiology 58
Reproduction 16
Stress 68
Learning 62
Alcohol & Addictive Drugs 110
Memory 105
Behavior Tests 230
Neural information processing 187

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 investigation.

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.

Go on to: Recommendations of this Report
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The Primate Experimentation Scandal, 2003 - An Investigative Report

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