During my career at Princeton I observed many cases of animal abuse.
On or about June of 2005, marmosets were not transferred during a routine
cage change. A Princeton employee named Philip (I do not remember his last
name) was responsible for change cages. This cage was taken to cage wash
where another employee, Sylvanus Ashamole, put the cage into cage wash -- where
temperatures reach 185 degrees. The marmosets were scalded to death.
I do not know if the Princeton IACUC was informed or not. Vicki Eng was the
attending veterinarian at the time. The marmosets were part of a study being
conducted by Professor Gould.
About this same time the marmosets’ diet was changed by either the vet or
other Princeton staff. As a result of this change, 2 or 3 marmosets eventually
died of malnutrition due to lack of monitoring, which was common knowledge. This
was all kept quiet. I do not believe that anyone was informed about this
On or about Oct 2004 one of the marmosets was noticed to be afflicted with
"wasting" disease on a Sunday. Dr. Garret Field, temporary supervisor/temp
veterinarian, was notified by the animal caretaker. It was not until the
next Sunday that the same caretaker was again assigned to marmosets. Immediately
he noticed the animal curled up in a ball in a corner -- losing fur, unable to
eat or drink because of the disease. The log book was checked to see if vet had
even observed the animal. The animal had not received adequate care. The
next morning, Monday, the same caretaker went to the veterinarian and informed
the vet of the marmoset’s condition. The caretaker told the veterinarian
to at least euthanize the poor animal to stop its suffering. The caretaker and
the veterinarian went to room 1e24 where the marmoset was housed. The
animal was still curled up in the corner of the cage – dead. The vet had not
examined the marmoset for 7 days despite the serious and eventually fatal
illness of this animal. In the first half of 2006, Professor Gould terminated
all of her marmoset studies.
From 2003 to the summer of 2006 Liz Gould was the only researcher using
marmosets. In January of 2010, 10 marmosets (5 pairs) were brought to Princeton
for Asif Ghazanfar. The marmoset enclosures used by Ghazanfar were old and
at this point only one staff person had actual experience with marmosets but
this person only cared for them occasionally. This meant that much of the
staff was not experienced in marmoset care. Students fed and watered Gould’s
marmosets on weekends and animal care staff cared for them during the week.
Eventually animal care staff provided weekend coverage as well, because
students assigned for this would not always come in to feed them.
At Princeton all the monkeys had names: Bush, Calvin, Hobbes, McCartney,
Lennon, Gobi, Poncho, and Franco just to name a few. At one time all monkeys
were housed in "quad" cages which are about 84 inches high, 44 inches wide, and
60 inches deep. Four monkeys were in a quad. Each one had a living area 42
x 22 x 60 inches. To my knowledge, this was their only home. Once they
arrived at Princeton, they never again saw daylight. In 2009 some newer
cages were ordered, but not enough to accommodate all the primates at Princeton.
About 4 years ago the partition between 2 of the monkeys was left unsecured.
As a result one was so severely wounded by the other as to be almost totally
emasculated. This primate was euthanized shortly after this injury. I believe
their names were Bauer and Sir-Mix-a-Lot.
Between 3 and 4 years ago Bush, a monkey in Professor Mike Graziano’s study
was on a restricted water schedule which meant that the researcher was
responsible for providing all water to the monkeys, unless animal care staff was
instructed otherwise. On a 4-day Thanksgiving week end the researcher did not
notify animal care that they were to give Bush water. It was Saturday before a
staff member saw that Bush was not eating and saw Bush had no water. There
was another incident where a monkey was totally without water for 2 days because
a cage change was performed on a Friday, but the water source was not connected
until Monday, which again shows Princeton’s total failure to oversee animals.
Professor Ghazanfar had a monkey named Poncho. He was the Houdini of monkeys
and was constantly escaping. Eventually Ghazanfar he gave Poncho to
Professor Graziano where Poncho continued his escapes. It was reported to me by
other animal care staff that at one point Poncho again escaped and was subdued
by being clubbed with a hockey stick by a researcher and a student. Poncho
was euthanized shortly after this incident.
Four years ago Hugo, a member of care staff, went into room oe14 where Poncho
was housed. Poncho was loose and attacked Hugo. If he hadn’t been wearing a full
shield he would have lost his eyes.
Monkeys were usually chaired and transported to the MRI machine at night to
avoid anyone seeing them chaired.
The most brazen professor is Ghazanfar. He constantly refuses to cooperate
with animal care staff, and also refuses to do things in compliance with
regulations, or to cooperate with required inspections.
Regarding all of all the above incidents, I am not aware of any IACUC
intervention. I am also not aware of Princeton reporting these incidents
to any regulatory agencies.
When an inspection was due we were ordered to go and check log books, etc.
and fill in or correct anything as needed, after the fact. AND because a member
of our staff had an outside connection it was always known EXACTLY what day and
time the FDA and/or USDA would be at Princeton for inspections.
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animals (primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, pigs,
sheep, goats, etc.). Rats and mice alone are believed to comprise over 90%
of the animals used in experimentation. Therefore the majority of animals
used at research facilities are not even counted.
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