Chronic Cruelty at the University of Wisconsin
– SAEN Demands Action
The University of Wisconsin, Madison (UW) is one of the largest
primate laboratories in the U.S. using over 1500 primates in
experimentation every year. The United States Department of Agriculture
(USDA) has repeatedly cited the UW for violations of federal law
including a recent incident where inadequate veterinary care contributed
to the death of primate #cyo122. The USDA report states:
“The differential diagnosis of a partial intestinal
obstruction/abdominal mass was not pursued in a timely manner, resulting
in the death of the animal.”
SAEN investigations have uncovered incidents at the UW that reveal
both extreme negligence and further violations of the Animal Welfare
Act. These violations involve several primates named Conrad, Glen,
Shepard, and Aldrin.
Medical records for Conrad reveal that he has suffered from a long
series of bacterial infections and abscesses.
The most serious issue
relates to a deep tooth abscess that was first suspected on 10/17/06.
This condition is again mentioned on 11/13/06 when a UW staff person
(likely a veterinarian) suggests that further assessment be done,
including an x-ray to discover the condition of the jaw. However, this
condition is not mentioned again until 1/22/07 (two months later) when
the record discusses a:
“chronic sore L Lower Jaw. Can palpate bone damage under lesion.
Suspect deep tooth abscess with mandible damage. Tooth extraction,
surgical repair recommended.”
No tooth extractions were performed until 2/5/07. Conrad was allowed
to suffer unnecessary pain due to an untreated tooth abscess that was
allowed to progress to a point where the mandible (jaw bone) was
UW records for the primates named Aldrin and Shepard discuss the escape
of another primate (Glen) on 6/29/07. During this escape both Aldrin and
Shepard were severely injured by Glen.
Shepard’s record reveals that he had a:
“large laceration on R palm – extending from between the 3rd & 4th
finger to the wrist.”
Aldrin’s record states that his hand received:
“major trauma, unable to repair. Amputated finger at 1st phalangeal-metacarpal
It is puzzling that Glen’s record for the same period of time does
not even mention that he escaped.
Shepard’s record also reveals that during a surgical procedure on
7/24/07 UW staff:
“Accidentally burned his forehead with soldering iron.”
It is obvious that these animals would have experienced substantial
pain and distress and should have been reported as such on the annual
report filed by this facility to the USDA. However, according to USDA
reports, no primates were reported as experiencing unrelieved pain or
distress in the entire state of Wisconsin during 2007.
It is very clear from this information that the primates at the
University of Wisconsin do not receive sufficient veterinary care. The
animals are being seriously injured because either their enclosures are
inadequate or the staff is careless enough to allow them to escape.
Additionally, the negligence that caused Shepard to be burned during a
surgical procedure is shocking and inexcusable.
SAEN has filed an Official Complaint with the USDA demanding that severe
action be taken against the University of Wisconsin.