Animal Experimentation in the United States (2009)

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Primate Experimentation in the U.S. – The National Picture (2009 - Edition)


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The Facts About Primate Experimentation

Primate experimentation in the U.S. is out of control. All-time high 69,990 primates are imprisoned in US labs for experimentation – a five year increase of 31%. An equal amount are held captive for breeding, making the total closer to 120,000. We estimate that funding for primate experimentation has also increased reaching $1.6 billion during fiscal 2007. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is responsible for most of this waste. Experimentation on primates is funded by several federal agencies including NIH, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense.

Widespread Suffering

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. Many primates suffer terribly inside labs across the U.S.

Harvard – 2100 primates imprisoned; 55% infant mortality rate; over 300 primates in solitary confinement; many exhibiting signs of pathological behavior.

University of California, Davis – 7700 primates confined, records for 400 monkeys revealed 403 traumatic injuries, 143 amputations, along with 387 wounds, 221 bites, 70 abrasions, 171 lacerations, and 40 fractures. Experiments confine primates to restraint chairs and use water deprivation.

Wake Forest – imprisons over 1000 primates; monkeys are socially isolated, deprived of sleep and subjected to addictive drugs.

University of Wisconsin Madison -- (UW) imprisons approximately 1500 primates. Primates escape from cages severely injuring other animals. Other monkeys suffer with brain abscesses due to the bolting of devices into the bones of the skull.

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) – Over 100 primates incarcerated; government documents reveal primates deprived of water for as much as 22 hours per day. Monkeys lose over 15% of their body weight and self mutilate in neurological experiments.

Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research (SWFBR) – imprisons over 5700 primates; recently cited for beginning post-mortem dissection of a baboon that was not yet dead.

University of California, Davis – 4100 primates confined. 36% of deaths tied to gastro-intestinal tract disease; 34% of the dead primates were emaciated & 20% were dehydrated. 7 primates killed in heating malfunction in 2004. Davis Primate Center receives $81 million per year in federal funds. 560 primates die per year.

University of Washington, Seattle – Over 2200 primate imprisoned. Recently cited for starvation death of a primate. Previously cited for performing unapproved surgical procedures – one researcher decapitated a primate.

Johns Hopkins – confines over 800 primates; monkeys are used in drug addiction experiments and brain mapping projects which force electrodes directly into the brain of conscious animals.

University of Minnesota – imprisons over 180 primates; drug addiction experiments during which primates are so stressed that they rip out their own hair while screaming; other monkeys are deprived of water and socially isolated.

Charles River Laboratories -Recently boiled primate alive in cage washing system. Previously cooked 32 primates to death due to heating malfunction; also improper handling of primates resulted in the injury & amputation of fingers due to negligence.

Oregon Health Sciences University – Recently cited for use of unapproved toxic chemicals which killed primates. Other primates died after botched surgeries and undiscovered fetal deaths.

Vanderbilt University – Dozens of primates used in brain mapping experiments; one illegally deprived of water and used in brain-scraping procedure without anesthesia.

University of Michigan – over 300 primates incarcerated; 42 used in painful experiment involving dipping the tail into 131 degree water without any pain relief; monkeys spend decades in drug addiction studies, isolated from members of their own species and connected to metal spring arms.

Many diseases and conditions plague the primates that are held captive within laboratories, such as: meningitis, pneumonia, encephalitis, hepatitis, and gastric bloat. Monkeys often lose fingers, toes, and tails through amputation.

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.

Government Waste

Most primates are not used in experiments that study the diseases that kill most Americans. Projects that study primate psychology, alcohol & addictive drugs, brainmapping, and sex in primates far outnumber studies involving heart disease or cancer.

Repetition is rampant among NIH-funded projects. Currently, the National Eye Institute funds 57 projects that use primates in brain-mapping. These duplicative experiments waste over $110 million every five years. 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 experimentation.

The Honorable____________
202-234-3121
U.S. House of Representatives
www.house.gov
Washington, D.C. 20515

Senator __________________
202-234-3121
U.S. Senate
www.senate.gov
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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