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

The Defender
From the Spring 2007 Issue

Exposing the University of South Alabama

On May 1, 2006, Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! held a dramatic news conference in Mobile, AL to expose the abuse of squirrel and owl monkeys within the labs of the University of South Alabama (USA). The news conference received excellent coverage from three television stations and the local newspaper, the Mobile Press Register. The newspaper story was picked up by Associated Press and spread across television, radio, and newspapers in three states.

The details of primate experiments within the University of South Alabama are very disturbing. During 2004 USA experimented on 728 primates and used another 75 for breeding or conditioning. USA receives just over $1.5 million from the National Institutes of Health for all primate projects.

The suffering of primates at USA is revealed in post-mortem records for 98 monkeys who died at USA during 2003 2004. 74 of these primates were immature monkeys who died of everything from failure to thrive to skull fractures. For a facility that has breeding of monkeys as one of the primary purposes, this appears to be an excessively high number of infant deaths. Additionally, the rate of stillbirths is high, and neonatal jaundice is rampant. Additionally, the parents are so severely stressed that they abuse their offspring, such as infant #3814 -- his hair was plucked and his tail was traumatized.

Negligence was clearly a factor in the anesthetic deaths of two adult monkeys at USA. One of these animals died of aspiration pneumonia -- from inhaling his/her own vomit. Six of the other adult deaths were marked by inanition (extreme lack of body fat). This condition indicates either long-term untreated illness or severe stress.

Some of the most significant pathologies for adult primates at USA appear to be mental. Ten USA primates exhibited significant hair loss, from over grooming which is considered to be the result of stress or stereotypical behavior. This behavior is usually associated with mental illness and is often followed by more severe acts of self-injurious behavior. USA primates suffered with eight instances of trauma either self-induced or caused by cage mates. In either case, this behavior is also associated with stress. Other primates at USA have had digits amputated as a result of self-inflicted injuries.

However, the most shocking of all the cases is primate 2685 who died on 12-10-04. She had developed an intussusception of the intestinal tract. This condition occurs when one part of the intestines slide up into another part, telescoping. The pain that this animal experienced must have been excruciating. She began to attack her own body, out of mental illness, to the point that she cannibalized her own intestinal tract.

Other causes of death show up in the USA primates including: gastric bloat (which is related to improper feeding), chronic anemia, chronic diarrhea, etc. In one instance the bloat led to gastric torsion which was neglected until the intestinal tract became necrotic. In fact, the records for these animals never discuss treatment of any kind. When a condition reaches a chronic level, the solution appears to be to put the animal to death.

We believe that our investigation of this facility will lead to a reduction in the amount of abuse at the University of South Alabama. Now the staff at USA knows that SAEN is watching their every move!

The photographs in this article actually came from the website of the University of South Alabama. While they do not show filthy cages or highly invasive experimentation, they clearly illustrate the cramped and stark environment in which the primates are housed. For animals whose natural environment includes trees, vegetation, and sunlight, this stainless steel indoor prison cannot possibly meet their needs.

It is no surprise that many of these highly intelligent animals respond to their intense boredom and desire for escape with insanity. As long as our society imprisons primates, they will continue to pay for our folly with their minds.

Go on to Torturing Animals in Connecticut -- Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals
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Spring 2007 Issue
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