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

Media Coverage

Animal-rights group assails study in which monkeys died

Article published Saturday, February 3, 2007
RESEARCH AT FORMER MUO

Two squirrel monkeys died prematurely during an experimental procedure at the former Medical University of Ohio in early 2005, a group opposed to animal experimentation announced yesterday.

In May, 2005, the U.S. Department of Agriculture found MUO - now the University of Toledo health science campus - in violation of its own experimental protocols in the monkey deaths.

Matt Lockwood, a UT spokesman, said the university corrected any problems after receiving the citation, and UT no longer has primates on its campuses.

In a statement released yesterday afternoon, UT said the monkeys "were anesthetized throughout the duration of the experiment," and "at no time did they experience any pain or suffering."

"The protocol deviations were the result of the researcher's efforts to minimize danger to the animals," the statement continued.

University representatives declined to say how the actions would have minimized danger.

The Cincinnati-based Stop Animal Exploitation Now has asked UT to provide it with all primate health records for the last two years, as a result of the USDA report.

"There was a lot going on where approved procedures were not being followed," said Michael Budkie, executive director of the animal-rights group.

The USDA inspection report states that the monkeys were to have a breathing tube inserted through the mouth and down the throat, but instead the monkeys were given tracheotomies; that is, a hole was made in their windpipes.

In addition, the USDA report states that one of the monkeys received no fluids during the 15 hours it was under anesthesia, contrary to the research protocol.

The report indicates both animals were to be euthanized at the end of the procedure.

The research was the work of neuroscientist John Wall, who studies how the brain organizes itself after an injury to the peripheral nervous system, that is, any nerves other than the spinal cord and brain.

He has published some 40 scholarly papers on the subject.

In 2005, the professor was working under a $198,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The university will release no details of the study, what specific questions the research was designed to answer, nor how the experiment was conducted.

Mr. Wall declined to comment.

However, a summary of the grant published on a NIH database said the work was designed to address how injuries, such as amputations and loss of sensation, lead to rapid changes in the brain, revealing brain connections that were not apparent before the injury.

The summary concludes that such research could lead to new rehabilitation methods.

- JENNI LAIDMAN

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