Salk accidentally kills a monkey during an experiment
Media Coverage About SAEN Stop Animal Exploitation Now

ACTION ALERT:

Contact the USDA to Demand a Maximum Fine against the Salk Institute:

Dr. Robert Gibbens
Director, Western Region, USDA
(970) 494-7478
Robert.M.Gibbens@usda.gov
acwest@aphis.usda.gov

Sample Message:

Please levy the MAXIMUM FINE against the Salk Institute for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) when their negligence caused the death of a marmoset. Their behavior should NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law for this repeat violator of the AWA!

 

Salk accidentally kills a monkey during an experiment
By San Diego Union Tribune, August 16, 2017

An animal rights group has asked federal regulators to fine the Salk Institute in La Jolla for accidentally killing a marmoset while it was performing neurological research on the monkey.

The Ohio-based Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) this week accused the Salk of negligence in a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which enforces the Animal Welfare Act.

The incident occurred on Feb. 13, during a surgical procedure on the marmoset’s brain. The monkey’s temperature spiked to more than 107 degrees while the animal was under general anesthesia, the Salk told the National Institutes of Health in a compliance letter.

The NIH also helps to oversee the humane care and use of laboratory animals, and it partially funded the experiment that killed the monkey.

An investigation “concluded that the anesthetic death resulted from a combination of overheating, defective equipment and failure of the research team to monitor the animal’s temperature per (standard operating procedure) and to seek support from the veterinarians in a timely manner,” according to a letter sent to the NIH by Salk chief scientific officer Martin Hetzer.

The Salk issued a statement to the Union-Tribune Wednesday that says, in part, “The Institute takes such matters very seriously, and promptly conducted an internal investigation into the situation that led to further enhancements to training and monitoring to help ensure we are doing everything possible to prevent a future incident.”

Like many science centers, the Salk regularly performs research on non-human primates, which are used as a proxy for humans. Such research is particularly common when it comes to exploring the brain, and has been used in the development of therapeutic drugs.

Experiments on primates have been condemned by many animal rights groups, including SAEN.

The group’s executive director, Michael A. Budkie, said in a letter to the USDA: “Since Salk Institute negligence has now caused a death, I must insist that you take the most severe action allowable under the Animal Welfare Act and immediately begin the process of issuing the maximum fine allowable … at the completion of your investigation — $10,000 per infraction/per animal.”

There are numerous species of marmosets, including the common marmoset, which can live up to 20 years. They are small monkeys that typically weigh 10 to 18 ounces.

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