S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe
out animal experimentation"
Primate Experimentation in the U. S. - The National Picture (2004 Ed.)
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The Facts About Primate Experimentation
Primate experimentation in the U.S. is out of control.
The most accurate numbers available indicate that approximately 96,000
primates are imprisoned in US labs. The number of primates confined in
this way has risen 42% in the last five years.
Funding for primate experimentation has also increased
reaching $1.1 billion during fiscal 2002. The National Institutes of
Health (NIH) is responsible for most of this waste, contributing over
$950 to the total. The number of primate projects funded by the NIH has
increased 54.6% in the last ten years. Other government agencies
funding this boondoggle include the National Science Foundation, the
United States Department of Agriculture, and the Department of
Many different species of primates
including macaque monkeys, squirrel monkeys, baboons, and chimpanzees
are experimented on in many different ways. Macaque monkeys are used
most often, with baboons second and squirrel monkeys third.
Isolation is severely stressful to primates.
In fact, 10% of isolated primates are so severely stressed that they
begin to engage in self-injurious behavior. Many different
psychological experiments also stress primates severely.
The Primate Center at the University of Wisconsin
(UW), Madison imprisons approximately 1500 primates. Documentation
from this facility indicates that 54% of the macaques and 64% of the
marmosets were suffering from gastro-intestinal tract disease,
potentially brought on by stress. The marmoset colony at the UW had an
infant mortality rate of 58%. Several primates at the UW are documented
as engaging in self-mutilation.
marmosets were recently killed at the WNPRC when they were not removed
from their cage before the cage was sanitized.
Similar conditions exist at other laboratories:
Harvard – 2100
primates imprisoned; 55% infant mortality rate; over 300 primates in
solitary confinement; many exhibiting signs of pathological behavior
University of California, Davis
– 4100 primates confined, 36% of the deaths tied to gastro-intestinal
tract disease; 34% of the dead primates were emaciated and 20% were
dehydrated; 7 primates killed in heating malfunction.
University of Oklahoma, Medical Center
– 240 primates locked up; 60 primates left outside in 100 degree heat
without shade or access to shelter.
University of California, San Francisco –
USDA prosecution for – “Doing a craniotomy to expose a monkey's brain
postoperative analgesics; over-breeding marmoset monkeys; depriving
monkeys of water, resulting in severe weight loss.”
Emory University –
imprisons over 3800 primates; a report from 8/23/02 discusses the death
of Rhesus monkey #3566 on 4/16/02. Apparently this primate had been
steadily declining since 6/01 – losing 32% of his/her body weight in
this 14-month period.
University of Washington,
Seattle - Internal documents obtained from
the UW indicate significant problems in areas of primate care. One
primate (K93464) died (9/01) as a result of ingesting a set of latex
gloves. Another primate (T93497) died (1/01) after being anesthetized
for a blood draw, potentially as a result of anesthetic overdose.
Another primate (#93169) died (7/00) of anesthetic overdose. Two
primates (A00131 & 98026) in the care of investigator CC Tsai died with
“total absence of body fat stores” and “total absence of subcutaneous
fat.” Dehydration is also discussed in reference to primate #98026.
Primate F93276 died 6/01 is discussed as having “Malnutrition, chronic,
severe” and “Dehydration, severe.”
Wake Forest –
imprisons over 1000 primates; One protocol in which the primates are
“head-capped” (have metallic devices attached – often by screws -- to
their heads) are socially isolated
– confines over 500 primates; during 1999 Riki, a rhesus monkey, died at
Johns Hopkins University. This primate had received treatment for ulcers
in 1996. During 1999 Riki was found to be biting his/her stifles (area
near the knee), a form of self-mutilation. On 8/27/99 Riki was found
lying on his/her side at noon. Examinations showed that Riki was in
shock. The only treatment given was intravenous fluids. A government
report states: “The primate was allowed to suffer and die, instead of
being immediately humanely euthanized when the decision was made not to
administer further treatment.”
Many diseases and conditions plague the
primates that are held captive within laboratories, such as:
pneumonia, encephalitis, hepatitis, and gastric bloat.
Common experimental practices include
depriving primates of food or water so that these things become
effective rewards. In some instances, the primates may receive water
for only an hour or two per day, or are deprived of as much as 20% of
their regular food intake.
The use of primate
restraint chairs is also common, with confinement reaching as much as
104 consecutive hours. These devices are highly stressful for normally
active and mobile primates. In brain mapping experiments many devices
are literally bolted onto the skulls of primates, and electrodes are fed
directly into the brain. Intravenous catheters are surgically
implanted in experiments with addictive drugs. These devices can lead
to serious infections, and other potentially fatal conditions.
Most primates are not
used in experiments that study the diseases that kill most Americans.
Projects that study primate psychology, alcohol & addictive drugs,
brain-mapping, and sex in primates far outnumber studies involving heart
disease or cancer.
Repetition is rampant
among NIH-funded projects. Currently, 188 NIH projects study neural
information processing in macaque monkeys. These useless experiments
waste over $56 million in federal tax dollars every year. Many of these
projects continue on for decades wasting millions of tax dollars each
year and victimizing primates for an entire lifetime.
What you can
do to help:
1. Read, copy, and
distribute this fact sheet.
2. Write to your federal
legislators to request a General Accounting Office (GAO)
investigation of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded primate
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Washington, D.C. 20510
3. Send as large a
tax-deductible donation as you can afford to Stop Animal Exploitation
NOW! (SAEN) to support this campaign.
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