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

Media Coverage

Protesters Seek Primates' Freedom

By Bill Scanlon, Rocky Mountain News

April 17, 2004

Several dozen animal lovers pleaded for sanctuary for 34 macaque monkeys Friday night, saying the primates have suffered and served as research subjects long enough.

University of Colorado officials say the macaques remain valuable for research and aren't going anywhere.

Animal rights organizations, led by the Committee for Research Accountability, held a candlelight vigil near the macaques' home at the CU Health Sciences Center near East Eighth Avenue and Colorado Boulevard in Denver. One sign read: "CU, stop monkeying around with our relatives. Free the CU 34."

"These animals have already been through experiments and subjected to unknown tortures," group leader Rita Anderson said. She was referring in particular to CU experiments in which mothers were separated from their babies to see how it affected the babies' future behavior.

"They've been used for so many years in these redundant and unnecessary experiments," she said.

Anderson has found a sanctuary in Oklahoma that will accept the monkeys, 31 of which CU has raised from birth, she said. Most range in age from 1 to 18.

But when she broached the idea to CU and started talking money, confusion set in.

Anderson says she told CU officials an honorarium was usually expected. She meant CU should pay something to the Oklahoma sanctuary for the care of the macaques.

CU officials apparently thought she was saying she would be willing to pay CU for the release of the monkeys.

When CU officials later told her replacing the monkeys would cost $12,000 an animal, she was shocked. "We don't have any money," she said.

CU officials said their colony of bonnet macaques is one of only two outside India, and they don't have the money to replace them.

CU officials are reluctant to specify the experiments they do, but Sladek's letter indicated monkeys are used for research into Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis.

Shauna Kane, who belongs to the CU animal-advocacy student group Roots and Shoots, helped collect 1,600 signatures to save the macaques.

Dr. Suzanne Morris, a retired pediatrician, said it may be impractical to halt all animal research because of its medical value, but that there is justification in freeing the macaques.

"Primates suffer so much like we do," she said. "If CU is teaching students to be compassionate physicians, can't they show appreciation for what these beings have done for our knowledge and show some compassion for them?"

Copyright 2004, Rocky Mountain News. All Rights Reserved.

To Submit a Letter to the Editor: letters@rockymountainnews.com  

www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_2816147,00.html

 

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