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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

The Defender
Vol. 4, No. 2 - Spring 2006

The Dismal Record at UCONN – The Suffering of Cornelius

The University of Connecticut (UCONN) has been breaking federal laws for years. In a recent SAEN investigative report, Breaking the Law – Animal Care in U.S. Labs http://www.all-creatures.org/saen/articles-rep-btl.html , both branches of UCONN are listed among the top violators (#3 and #10) of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). In 2003, the Storrs branch of UCONN was fined $129,000 for multiple AWA violations. Additionally, the Farmington branch uses primates in extremely abusive experiments.

These highly invasive experiments are the work of Dr. David Waitzman whose work has been funded since 1992. The fiscal 2005 funding amount is $121,659, racking up $1.6 million so far with no end in sight.

Procedures in this project confine rhesus monkeys to restraint chairs, cut holes into their skulls, and place electrodes into their brains. This is one of the most duplicated procedures in all of primate experimentation.

These practices have had very dire consequences for the unfortunate monkeys who have fallen into the hands of Dr. Waitzman and his colleagues.

We are working closely with Justin Goodman of the UCONN Animal Rights Collective to uncover the truth at UCONN. Currently, through examining internal university documents, Justin has been uncovering horrific information and recently contacted us with this excerpt:

I've just returned from my first round of document viewing for the document request I made to UCONN. Today, I made it my priority to examine the care/cage logs of two monkeys, Cornelius and Aries, who are no longer alive as a result of this research. Cornelius was a 7-year old rhesus monkey that died recently at the hands of Dr. Waitzman, only eight months after arriving from Covance in March of 2005. According to the logs, he had no medical problems before the trepanation procedure (cutting of openings into the skull) was performed. All of the daily reports before his operation described him in good health.

However, afterwards he experienced fairly frequent tremors, seizures, and vomiting related to the experimental procedure (which includes a restraint chair, jacket, and steel cylinders through which different areas of the brain are prodded). I counted around a dozen instances where seizures were reported in the log. At one point the drug Dilantin was brought up as a possible cause, but it seems as though the trephination procedure played a large role. Despite these problems and other signs of stress (hanging his head, staring at the wall), the researchers continued their invasive work on Cornelius.

On November 21, 2005, while Cornelius was restrained in the chair, he began vomiting and suffered from a grand mal seizure followed by respiratory and cardiac arrest. A research assistant attempted CPR to no avail. Dr. Waitzman showed up as this was going on and cited the cause of death as "complication during recording." They proceeded to perfuse and remove his brain as they do in all "normal" cases.

Cornelius showed many signs of distress, discomfort, and illness throughout his miserable life at UCHC (University of Connecticut Health Center). It is inconceivable that the researchers carried on business as usual and ultimately caused his death.

Do not let Cornelius’ and Aries’ deaths go unchallenged. Other monkeys are still awaiting their fate in Dr. Waitzman’s lab – but they can be saved. Your action is desperately needed to change their future. Please contact the President of the University of Connecticut to protest the abusive experiments of Dr. Waitzman and to demand the release of the primates used in this project.

Philip E. Austin
Office of the President
352 Mansfield Rd
Storrs, CT 06269-2048
(860) 486-2333/2337
(860) 486-2627 fax

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