KATHMANDU, June 7 - Two US-based animal rights groups
have expressed concern over the exploitation of Rhesus monkeys from
Nepal in the University of Washington (UW), in the name of research.
They have appealed to the Nepal government to stop sending live primates
to the university.
"We call for the government of Nepal to end
relationship with the University of Washington to prevent harm to Nepali
primates," said a press statement received here today from Seattle-based
Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) and the International Primate
Protection League (IPPL).
The animal rights groups have also expressed serious
concern over the Nepal government’s alleged exercise to legalize
exploitation of the primates. The statement also alleged that Nepal is
allowing the United States to fund a monkey laboratory in Nepal." We
urgently request compassionate Nepalis to do all they can do to make
sure this project (monkey laboratory) is stopped," Dr. Shirley MvGreal,
director of IPPL, said in the statement.
However Dr. Mukesh Chalise, a primatologist and monkey
expert allegedly close to the UW project, said that it was not Nepal’s
intention to send its monkeys to their deaths. The animal rights groups
have also alleged the UW of causing harm to monkeys in its laboratory.
"One out of every four primates – or two every day on average – dies at
the UW either of disease or in experimentation," said Micheal E. Budkie,
executive director of SAEN. He claimed 736
primates died at the UW last year, 400 from disease and 336 during
He also said that UW has been misusing the fund of
$250 million provided annually by US National institute of Health.
Budkie accused the university of suspicious animal deaths, adding it has
been heavily fined for animal care violations.
The UW has an arrangement with the US Department of
Defense, which gave the university nearly 3 million US dollars last
year, said Budkie, voicing concerns that the monkeys could be used as
subjects of experiments involving chemical or biological weapons.
Officials at the Department of National Parks and
Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) could not be reached for comment.
Source: The Kathmandu Post, June 8, 2004