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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

Inside Harvard – killing primates, dogs, and cats

Harvard is among the largest recipients of federal funding for animal experimentation in the U.S. amassing over 238 separate grants from the National Institutes of Health. This laboratory is also the home of the infamous New England National Primate Research Center which imprisons roughly 1700 primates and squanders over $354 million per year. In fact, Harvard is so large that it actually maintains two separate research facility registrations.

In a recent SAEN ranking of laboratories for Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations within laboratories, both Harvard facilities made the top 20 with 18 violations for the university and 14 for the medical school. These 32 violations took place in the first nine months of 2005, which means that Harvard violated federal law almost once a week. Some of these violations were not catastrophic, but at least one incident directly took the life of a primate. Additionally, the pattern of illegal activity at Harvard has persisted with the medical school racking up another nine AWA violations during the first USDA inspection of January, 2006.

The primate referenced above strangulated on a piece of plastic tubing at the Harvard Medical School on July 12, 2004, while confined to a restraint chair. This animal died because the researcher “went to lunch,” leaving the animal confined and unsupervised.

Other violations of the AWA include: not providing psychological enrichment to primates that have been identified as needing the enhancement (primates that are extremely stressed – possibly engaging in stereotypical behavior), not providing the minimum amount of water to primates, not monitoring primates’ weight to prevent their dehydration, and lying to the USDA about the painful nature of experimentation performed.

These shocking violations continued into January of 2006 when the negligence and incompetence of Harvard researchers starved a dog and murdered a cat. In a period of several months dog #113361 lost over 20% of his/her body weight, and was “noted to be very thin with loss of muscle mass along the spine.” Other entries in the records of this animal list the dog as “thin” or “very thin.” The dog’s weight loss is unexplained, and no request for veterinary care was filed.

Cat #4298 had undergone a surgical procedure in which the researcher used an anesthetic “cocktail” for both tranquilization and surgery. Even though anesthetic recovery was incomplete, the cat was placed back with other animals.

This surgical procedure kept the cat anesthetized for 12 hours, and the animal had not awakened 9 hours later.

Harvard’s veterinarian recommended euthanasia due a poor prognosis at noon on 1/20/05. Against the repeated recommendations of the vet, the researcher did not want the animal to be humanely euthanized, because he wanted the cat to be available for a “terminal study.” Harvard was cited for failure to follow anesthetic procedures and for unqualified personnel.

Clearly, the staff at Harvard has no regard whatsoever for the value of animals’ welfare or for science. Please contact the President of Harvard University to protest their ongoing negligence, abuse of animals, and violations of federal law.

Derek Bok
Office of the President 
Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138
Fax: 617-495-8550
[email protected]

Go on to Food and College
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Spring 2007 Issue
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