Group files complaint vs. Southborough animal research lab

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Group files complaint vs. Southborough animal research lab

SOUTHBOROUGH —
An Ohio-based animal rights organization has filed a complaint against Harvard Medical School, alleging that the school's New England Primate Research Center in Southborough did not properly report its experiments on animals.

The federal Animal Welfare Act requires the facility to report experiments involving the use of animals that receive "unrelieved pain or distress" and explain why it did not administer pain relievers, said Michael Budkie, co-founder of Stop Animal Exploitation Now in Milford, Ohio.

"There's a basic level of honesty here that is not being met," Budkie said yesterday. "I think these laboratories should be forced to, if nothing else, tell the truth."

Two Harvard research projects allow primates to experience unrelieved pain - one subjects them to electric shock and one purposely stresses animals who have already been diagnosed with self-injurious behavior, according to the complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which enforces the Animal Welfare Act.

Harvard Medical School has not listed those primates as receiving unrelieved pain or distress, Budkie said.

The school has not listed any non-human primates in this category from 2005 to 2009, according to the complaint.

Harvard Medical School did not respond to requests for comment yesterday .

The complaint requests the Agriculture Department investigate and fine the school.

The Agriculture Department is also exploring whether it will formally investigate the New England Primate Research Center following the death of an animal there in June.

During an inspection, the Agriculture Department found the body of a primate on the floor of a cage that had been sent through a cage-washing system.

The Southborough facility, owned and operated by Harvard Medical School, is one of eight National Primate Research Centers. It houses 1,800 primates.

See Also:
Harvard Medical School

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