Primate Experimentation in the U.S. –
Primate Experimentation in the U.S. –The National Picture
The Facts About Primate Experimentation
Primate experimentation in the U.S. is out of control. The system which is supposed to regulate the use of primates is utterly ineffective. We cannot say with any real degree of accuracy how many primates are experimented on because the USDA/APHIS cannot force laboratories to report animal use accurately, or even to report at all. In the last 5 years the number of laboratories who did not report their experimental use of animals has been as high as 128. In fiscal 1998 Harvard under-reported their primate use by over 1200. During the same year Yale under-reported their primate use by 95.
Statistics based on data published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicate that primate experimentation in the U.S. has reached an all time high with an estimated 60,000 of our closest relatives suffering & dying in laboratory experiments every year. As many as another 40,000 primates are imprisoned in laboratories for breeding purposes.
Widespread SufferingMany 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. In fact, documentation from the University of Wisconsin (UW), Madison indicates that 1/3 of the primates that die within UW facilities are suffering from digestive tract pathologies which may have been brought on by stress.
Many diseases and conditions plague the primates that are held captive within laboratories. Common conditions include pneumonia, encephalitis, hepatitis, gastric bloat, and other serious diseases.
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, during experimental sessions. In other instances, primates are deprived of as much as 20% of their regular food intake, making food an effective reward.
The use of primate restraint chairs is also common. These devices are highly stressful for normally active and highly mobile primates. Intelligent animals like rhesus monkeys are strapped into restraint chairs for as much as 104 consecutive hours. 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 some primate species as a part of experimentation with addictive drugs. All of these devices can lead to bacterial infections, septicemias, 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, 170 NIH projects study neural information processing in macaque monkeys. These useless experiments waste over $49.5 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 experimentation.
3. Send as large a tax-deductible donation as you can afford to Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! (SAEN) to support this campaign.
Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
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