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

The Defender
From Spring 2008 Issue

Continuing Cruelty at Vanderbilt – SAEN Demands Action

Violations of federal laws by animal research facilities are sharply increasing. Nowhere is this more obvious than at the laboratories of Vanderbilt University in Nashville (TN). In the period from the start of 2005 to mid-2007, Vanderbilt amassed 63 separate Animal Welfare Act violations including 14 repeat infractions. The primary culprits at Vanderbilt are the members of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, which had 22 separate violations. Vanderbilt also had 9 violations in the area of veterinary care.

In January, 2007, a rabbit was killed by being run through a cage washer; while in May of that same year, three cotton rats were killed due to improper handling. However, the best way to reveal the level of callousness and abuse which is routinely practiced on animals at Vanderbilt is to examine the life of primate R571F.

Primate R571F is first mentioned on the second page of a USDA inspection report dated 6/30/06. According to this document, R571F was given no water whatsoever on 6/25/06. And on the following day, 6/26/06, she received only eight ounces of juice. The USDA inspector describes the depressed condition of this abused monkey:

“The primate appeared more quiet and withdrawn (sitting in the back corner, leaning against the wall) than the other primates to this inspector on the morning of 6/26/06. Based on the lack of records one couldn’t tell if this was normal or abnormal behavior for her. The weight records for the month of June for R571F show a steady decrease the first half of the month then a leveling in the primate’s body weight.”

This is a clear instance of abuse and neglect at Vanderbilt and is simply inexcusable. Anti-cruelty laws require that the basic needs of animals be met, including providing adequate food and water.

Apparently, researchers are exempt not only from anti-cruelty laws, but also from other things common to all civilized people, like decency.

R571F shows up again in another USDA inspection report dated 12/4/06. In this report we find that:

“The laboratory records for primate R571F . . . Dated May 21, 2006 shows that laboratory personnel performed a durascrape. The medical record for primate R571F states that on May 25, 2006 that a veterinarian was called on May 24th 2006 regarding the primate “holding head after cleaning. . . . Neither the laboratory record, the medical record or the controlled substance log show that any anesthetics or analgesics were administered before, during or after the cleaning/durascrape procedure.”

Not only has this primate been deprived of water, but her brain was scraped without anesthesia. In the case of primate R571F, the staff of this facility has demonstrated a clear pattern of ongoing abuse and neglect as well as a callous disregard for federal regulations.

Other information has come to light indicating that Vanderbilt has been the subject of many instances of federal violations, even preceding the current period. According to internal Vanderbilt Medical Center correspondence from 2004, issues existed involving unapproved surgeries on primates in neurological protocols and the harassment of staff for reporting Animal Welfare Act non-compliances. So, it is clear that the Vanderbilt staff connected with neurological research have a total disregard for the law because they have had ongoing violations of the Animal Welfare Act for at least three years and have also attempted to hide their actions by intimidating employees who were reporting them.

Please write to the Director of the Eastern Region of the USDA/APHIS/AC to demand immediate action against Vanderbilt:

Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer USDA/APHIS/AC 920 Main Campus Dr, Suite 2000 Raleigh, NC 27606

919-855-7100 [email protected] 

Please contact the Chancellor of Vanderbilt to demand an investigation of the life and/or death of primate R571F:

Nicholas S. Zeppos, Interim Chancellor Vanderbilt University 2201 West End Ave Nashville, TN 37240

615-322-1813 [email protected] 

Go on to Primate Experiments Reach All-Time HIGH -- as Laboratory Violations Soar
Return to
Spring 2008 Issue

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