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

Newsletters
The Defender
From Spring 2009 Issue

UC Davis Primate Incarceration Reaches All-Time HIGH

In 2007 the University of California, Davis (UCD) passed the milestone of imprisoning and/or experimenting on over 7600 non-human primates in one year. The majority of these monkeys are rhesus macaques, crab-eating macaques, and titi monkeys. It is almost impossible to visually conceptualize a group of over 7000 primates – let alone a facility capable of adequately holding this many animals.

The inadequacy of our ability to conceptualize a facility of this nature is surpassed only by the level to which UCD must be inadequate to meet the needs of the more than 7600 primates incarcerated there. In their natural habitat rhesus monkeys are known to traverse as much as one square mile of territory every day. Even if some of these primates have overlapping territory, to provide 7000 primates with some level of adequate space, the University of California, Davis would require several thousand square miles of land, placing it somewhere between the states of Delaware and Connecticut in size.

Instead of a square mile of territory per primate, the USDA and labs like UCD have decided that a monkey is just fine with approximately nine square feet of living space. The results of this kind of severe confinement are totally predictable -- stress, disease, and psychological abnormality. The lives of over 7000 primates cannot be thought about in any systematic way -- just too much information exists to be handled or examined meaningfully. Instead, SAEN has examined a small part of this group of primates. During 2007 and early 2008 approximately 400 primates died at UC Davis. The lives of these monkeys are documented in about 2000 pages of clinical records and post-mortem reports with no photos, no names, only numbers. Lives that should have included running, playing, raising offspring, etc. have been reduced to nothing more than a few pages of medical terminology for each.

Even though many of the monkeys inside UC Davis have had lives which spanned decades of incarceration, their years are summed up in only a few sheets of paper. They spent years being shuffled from cage to cage to cage.
First, they were robbed of their freedom. Then, they lost anything that resembled a natural life. Lastly, they often lost their minds.

Primate #27432 was about 14½ years old when he died in November of 2007. His death is summarized: “The cutaneous lesions were consistent with clinical diagnosis of self trauma.” Primate #30805 died in January of 2008. In January of 2003, a finger was amputated and a second finger was amputated just a few months later. Surprisingly, during the next 5 years no other injuries or treatments are mentioned, and yet the necropsy report states: “The animal is presented in good flesh with severe traumatic injuries (self-inflicted) on all limbs.”

The statements of death for other primates at UCD sound like a litany of madness. The necropsy report for primate 33659 states: “The animal is presented in good flesh with multiple, mostly healed or healing cutaneous lacerations (self trauma).” The post-mortem record for primate 34975 said:

“There are multiple (self-inflicted) cutaneous abrasions/lacerations (self-trauma).” The necropsy for primate 35103 continues the insanity: “The animal is presented in good flesh with multiple, self-inflicted, cutaneous wounds on arms and legs (self-mutilation).” The death document for primate 35927 states: “The animal is presented thin with multiple cutaneous abrasions/lacerations (self-injurious behavior).” And the last word on primate 27257 is no less shocking: “The animal is presented in good flesh with severe musculocutaneous trauma to the right arm and the right side of the face. Body as a whole traumatic abnormality (bite wounds).”

Primate #32104 was born on March 10th, 2000. He lives for 7¼ years, undergoing over 30 cage moves. In August of 2002, one of his fingers is bitten severely enough to require stitches. In October of 2002, one of his toes is amputated after being bitten. In November of 2002, he suffers from multiple bite wounds to both a finger and his tail which result in amputations. In May of 2003, his tail again has a traumatic injury, requiring amputation. By October of 2003, a finger has also been injured severely enough to require amputation. In January of 2004, his left leg is lacerated and his right ankle has been bitten. In June of 2004, a toe is amputated after a bite wound. In October of 2004, his tail is again injured requiring amputation. In October of 2005, as part of an experiment, his skull is cut open in two places and the membrane which surrounds the brain is cut.

Ibotenic acid is injected into his brain. Eighteen months later he is killed.
Many other primates have similar life histories. Primate 32235 lived for seven years and endured four amputations, a laceration, traumatic injuries, and bite wounds that involved the tail, finger, elbow, and toe. Primate 28951 endured four amputations and three bite wounds involving the tail, face, and toe.

These are the reactions of 400 minds not unlike our own to severely abnormal conditions. In the 1500 pages of clinical records, trauma is documented 403 times and amputation 143 times, along with 387 wounds, 221 bites, 70 abrasions, 171 lacerations, and 40 fractures.

The high levels of stress have many consequences other than overtly self-destructive or aggressive behavior. In many of these animals, severe and ongoing conditions of gastro-intestinal inflammation exist, such as enteritis and colitis. In fact, the word colitis is mentioned 117 times in approximately 400 pages of post-mortem reports. Rampant stress and disease lead to other dire consequences.

These same 400 pages of death records use the word inanition (a bodily condition which resembles starvation) 108 times and dehydration 91 times.
In this same group, the females gave birth to 705 live offspring, another 244 were stillborn, an infant death rate of almost 26% which can be attributed to maternal stress and poor health.

The existences of these 400 or so intelligent sensitive animals are summarized in injuries, illnesses, and deaths. All living things end in death, this is unavoidable. But it almost seems as though these monkeys were trying to hasten their deaths.
Their injuries, whether self-inflicted or as violence practiced on each other, have the appearance of either attempted suicide or violence induced by madness. And when conscious efforts at death were unsuccessful, their bodies self-destructed.

It has been said that madness is a sane response to an insane situation. As a species, human beings practice insanity on each other regularly. As “scientists” we practice it on many other species. We use them as tools, apparatus, and experimental subjects. We take their freedom, their sanity, and eventually their lives. We change them from beings that have lives to something different. They become nothing more than information -- just data, only numbers. 

Please contact the Chancellor of UC Davis to protest the ongoing animal abuse at this facility.

Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef
Mrak Hall, Fifth Floor
University of California, Davis
One Shields Ave
Davis, CA 95616

(530) 752-2065 (530) 752-2400 (fax)
lnvanderhoef@ucdavis.edu

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