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S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe
out animal experimentation"
Complaint alleges abuse
By ROBERT STERN Staff Writer Trenton Times
Animal rights group claims Princeton mistreats
PRINCETON BOROUGH _ An animal-protection
group wants to end what it says are abusive and inadequately documented
experiments on primates at Princeton University and 49 other nationally
The Cincinnati-based organization, Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! (SAEN),
has filed a complaint against the labs with the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, which regulates the use of animals in experimentation through
the Animal Welfare Act.
SAEN alleges labs at Princeton and elsewhere abuse primates during
experiments by denying food and water and confining them to restraint
chairs or injecting them with paralytic drugs.
It also contends 47 of the labs in its complaint including Princeton have
violated federal regulations that require USDA notification whenever
primates are subject to potentially painful or stressful experiments
``Fifty prestigious institutions are systematically violating federal laws
and abusing thousands of animals in sadistic, wasteful testing,'' said
Michael A. Budkie, SAEN's executive director.
SAEN submitted its complaint to the USDA during the summer.
The group contacted The Times earlier this month after getting no word
from the agency on whether it began investigations against any of the labs
cited, which include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard,
Yale and UCLA.
SAEN says its complaint is based on an audit of experiment information
from 1998 primarily available through the USDA.
The federal agency is reviewing SAEN's allegations but has not decided
whether it will launch special investigations into any of the labs in the
complaint, USDA spokeswoman Laura Reiser said Friday.
The continuing Princeton monkey experiments that have come under fire are
brain-mapping studies conducted by a team of researchers led by psychology
professor Charles Gross, according to SAEN Executive Director Michael
``Brain-mapping experiments typically confine primates to restraint chairs
for many hours,'' SAEN's complaint states.
The primates have recording cylinders and restraining bars ``bolted into
their skulls during extensive multiple surgical procedures,'' according to
``Another aspect of this type of experimentation is the frequent
restriction of access to water,'' the group alleges.
Gross did not return The Times' requests for comment.
Princeton spokeswoman Lauren Robinson-Brown said SAEN's ``complaint
against Princeton is without merit.''
She said USDA inspectors visit Princeton regularly to ensure that any
research on animals conducted there complies with federal regulations.
Some of the experiments SAEN examined have been going on for 10 years or
more, too often subjecting monkeys to stress and pain in research that is
needlessly duplicated from institution to institution, Budkie said.
``We believe that these 50 labs may only be the tip of the iceberg,''
Budkie said. ``More than 100,000 primates suffer and die in U.S. labs
every year, wasting millions of tax dollars. These findings are only the
beginning of our investigations.''
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