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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

SAEN Reveals Texas Torture

The Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research (SWFBR) of San Antonio (TX) receives the federal grant which funds the Southwest National Primate Research Center. This primate center imprisons over 5700 primates ranging from spider monkeys, tamarins, marmosets, chimpanzees, baboons, to macaque monkeys. During 2006 primate center researchers received approximately $54 million per year in research project funding.

During 2007 SWFBR was cited for over a dozen violations of the Animal Welfare Act by USDA/APHIS. During an inspection dated 4/3/07, this facility was cited repeatedly for serious infractions by USDA Veterinary Medical Officer, Elizabeth Pannill. Clearly, the most severe of these violations involved a 2006 incident when a male baboon was designated for euthanasia, necropsy, and tissue harvest to be performed on 4/28/06. Dr. Pannill goes on to make one of the most spine chilling statements that I have read in my 20 years of animal protection work:

“Euthanasia means the humane destruction of an animal accomplished by a method that produces rapid unconsciousness and subsequent death without evidence of pain or distress…euthanasia of one baboon was not accomplished as described above…it was not dead prior to the start of the necropsy procedure.”

This shocking information was revealed to the public in a joint news conference on February 16, 2008, held by SAEN and Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation of San Antonio. This dramatic event was covered by KENS-TV, KSAT-TV, WOAI-TV, KTSA-TV, Univision Television Network, WOAI-Radio, KTSA-Radio, and the San Antonio newspaper Express-News.

During the news conference, SAEN’s Executive Director, Michael Budkie, announced serious penalties sought against SWFBR by SAEN:

“While we have filed an Official Complaint with the USDA to obtain regulatory action, we have also contacted the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to seek the repayment of all grants involving the baboon in question, as well as the grants connected to other violations at SWFBR,” said Budkie. The NIH must take swift and meaningful action against SWFBR including:

1. Demanding full repayment of the grant money spent during the period of noncompliance.

2. Prohibiting the offender from ever receiving another NIH grant.

3. Revoking Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) accreditation.

4. Investigating the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research for further noncompliance with the Animal Welfare Act during the entire funding period of the grant(s) in question.

Please join our campaign to take funding away from the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research. Contact the Director of the NIH to demand that meaningful action be taken against SWFBR.

Dr Elias A Zerhouni, Director
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20892

301-496-2433 [email protected]

Go on to From the Desk of Michael Budkie, SAEN’s Executive Director
Return to
Spring 2008 Issue

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