Five protesters arrested at Oregon National Primate Research Center in Hillsboro

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Published: Monday, June 28, 2010, 1:10 PM
Updated: Monday, June 28, 2010, 3:53 PM

Kate Mather, The Oregonian

Five people were arrested this afternoon after blocking a road at an animal-rights protest at Oregon Health & Science University in Hillsboro.

About 50 activists descended upon the Oregon National Primate Research Center this morning to protest the facility's experimentation on monkeys.

While others carried signs and chanted, five people blocked the entrance to the center by laying in the street with plastic pipes on their arms. They were arrested at about 12:30 p.m. for obstructing traffic, a misdemeanor. Their names have not been released, but police said they were lodged in Washington County Jail.

Police said the five were arrested without incident, and the demonstration was not violent.

The protest, organized by the Portland Animal Defense League and the Ohio-based group Stop Animal Exploitation Now, focuses on the research conducted at the primate center. Michael Budkie, executive director of SAEN, said the goal of today's protest is to force the university into negotiations regarding the center's experimentation policy. He said the groups would like to see the center reduce and eventually eliminate using monkeys in experiments.

Jim Newman, spokesman for the center, said that although protests are not uncommon -- they happen usually once or twice per year -- today's demonstration was more heated than previous ones.

"This is the second blockade-type thing we've seen," Newman said. "But to see something like you did today, you'd have to go back 10 or 12 years."

Portland Protest - 5 Arrested

The center has most recently drawn criticism from activists after a November 2009 report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture revealed that two rhesus macaque monkeys died during a cancer study conducted at the center in April 2009. The animals were given RCA-120, a drug used to identify new blood vessels associated with transplanted ovarian tissue. The drug was not approved for use in monkeys.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced last week that the facility passed its most recent spot inspection on June 15 and that it was in "full compliance" with the Animal Welfare Act, a federal law that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition and transport.

See Also:
Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR
Police Arrest 5 At Primate Center Protest - 28 Jun 2010
Five arrested in Oregon primate center protest - 28 Jun 2010
5 protesters arrested outside Ore. primate center - 28 Jun 2010
Protesters target primate center - 28 Jun 2010
Primate Center Protestors Handcuffed - 28 Jun 2010
Animal right protesters arrested outside OHSU primate center - 28 Jun 2010
28 Jun 2010 - Five arrested after activists block entrance to Oregon research laboratory; facility has killed primates, wasted tax money

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