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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

Primate Experiments Reach All-Time HIGH -- as Laboratory Violations Soar

The USDA publishes two annual reports which contain valuable statistical information about animal experimentation in the U.S.  The Annual Report of Enforcement (ARE) provides statistics about the total number of animals used in experimentation while the Violation Summary contains statistics regarding the frequency of Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations by all regulated entities (dealers, research facilities, transporters, etc.) which the USDA inspects.

During 2006 labs violated the law over 2107 times, an increase of 90% from the 2002 total of 1106.  The majority (1226 or 58%) of the violations were committed by the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committees (IACUC), the very entities charged both with internal enforcement of regulations as well as approving research protocols.  The second largest area of non-compliance was in veterinary care, with 522 violations (25%).

Moreover, animal experimentation numbers for 2006 (for regulated species) declined by over 150,000.  However, primate experimentation reached an all-time high with 62,315 monkeys and apes falling under the knife.

Nevertheless, the ARE’s statistics are not totally reliable.  Previous reports have shown substantial inaccuracies.  The 2005 ARE reported 740 primates experimented on in the entire state of North Carolina.  However, Wake Forest University (NC) alone listed 1318 primates used.  Apparently, the USDA lost track of almost 600 primates.

Nationally known labs continue to break federal laws with impunity.  Vanderbilt
broke the law 63 times in 3 ˝ years (including depriving a primate of water and running a rabbit through a cage washer).  The University of Pennsylvania led the nation with 70 violations in 2 years.  Harvard has violated federal law 46 times in 3 years, receiving an official warning for killing a cat with improper anesthesia.  Emory University was fined $15,000 for killing a primate with improper anesthesia.  The University of Wisconsin is one of the worst, racking up 20 federal infractions in a year.  A primate project at the University of Washington has been terminated by federal regulators for performing unapproved surgeries. 

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals was fined $26,000 for federal infractions.  Santa Cruz Biotechnology has been cited repeatedly for draining the blood of chronically diseased goats and was also fined $4,600 by the USDA for other infractions.  SNBL Corporation (WA) killed 20 primates through improper housing and was recently cited for boiling a primate alive in a cage washer.  The Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical R&D lab in Raritan (NJ) piled up 20 violations in a single year, including 9 infractions of the AWA for inadequate veterinary care and 10 violations by the IACUC.  Merck and Covance earned their places among the top violators of federal law as well.

The reporting of unrelieved pain in experiments is also highly suspect.  Labs in 16 states that experiment on approximately 34,000 primates supposedly subjected only 99 of them – or less than one half of one percent – to any unrelieved pain.  In some instances, projects which actually list symptoms like fever, weight loss, diarrhea, rash, and “pain” are not reported by labs to actually cause pain.  

The bottom line is that labs are increasingly performing experiments which violate federal law, and simultaneously lying about the nature of these experiments to the agency which has the primary responsibility for regulating them.  Research facilities stack up infractions year after year, with little in the way of meaningful enforcement from the USDA.  This is why SAEN’s work is so vitally important.  When federal regulators refuse to act, it is up to us to fight for the animals.

Go on to SAEN Exposes Federal Violations at North Dakota State University
Return to
Spring 2008 Issue

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