Major SAEN Victory
-- USDA cites the University of Wisconsin for AWA Violations
-- Second Complaint already filed
An official complaint filed by Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! on
February 16, 2009, against the University of Wisconsin, Madison (UW) has
claimed a victory for the primates at UW. The USDA investigation
conducted in April of 2009 cited UW for inadequate primary enclosures.
The complaint culminated from SAEN’s research which discovered an
incident at UW involving extreme negligence and serious violations of
the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) which directly affected several primates
named Glen, Shepard, and Aldrin. UW records for 6/29/07 disclose that
Glen escaped from his cage and severely injured both Aldrin and Shepard.
Shepard sustained a large laceration across the palm of his right hand,
while Aldrin’s traumatic hand injury necessitated the amputation of a
Even after this victory, SAEN is keeping the pressure on UW with a
second official complaint being filed in March, demanding that severe
action be taken against the same Madison lab in the case of Wally, a
macaque monkey, who has suffered terribly for over a year.
Wally experienced many of the same traumas as other UW primates
including self-inflicted injuries due to the psychological stress of
being caged alone.
He is part of an experiment where a portion of his skull is removed
to expose his brain so that microelectrodes can be forced directly into
it through cylinders which are bolted onto his skull. Records indicate
that he was treated with a strong antibiotic, Doxycycline, for a
bacterial brain infection which is very common in this type of
experiment. We also know from the records that Wally is often
immobilized in a primate restraint chair, a box-like device, used to
severely restrict his movement.
The most detailed and troubling information in Wally’s record
chronicles his ongoing agony for a 3 day period in November of 2006.
“According to Care Staff he rejected food . . . To me he seems confused, significant pale color of face, but still active.”
12:30 pm “Care staff reported that Wally is laying down in the cage.”
5:00 pm “Wally is depressed, sitting on cage floor with hunched posture.”
6:40 pm “Wally is alert, mobile, no interest in treats, prefers a ‘head-down rump-up posture’ . . .Headache?”
The next day is no better for Wally.
11/6/06 “Alert Mobile, sitting in head down rump up position. He has
received pain medication and antibiotics, but they don’t seem to be
His suffering continues on . . . . . .
11/7/06 “Still depressed. Sitting on cage floor with head down.”
These entries paint a picture of a primate who is suffering terribly.
The bacterial brain abscess which arose in April is still present seven
months later. His condition has clearly deteriorated, and he is in
excruciating pain. A few weeks later, his condition is so critical that
a gravely concerned UW vet recommends euthanasia:
“As you know, Wally has been on continuous antibiotic therapy for
some time now due to a brain abscess. . . . (first week of November,
2006), he started to display clinical signs of headache and illness,
including depression, slumped/head-down posture and inappetence . . .
Due to the brain abscess and the need for permanent treatment, it may be
advisable to make plans to humanely euthanize Wally sometime in the next
several months, and replace him on study.”
The last entry that we have for Wally is in early 2008 stating that
he is still on antibiotics. More than 14 months after the UW
veterinarian recommended euthanasia for Wally, he is still being used in
experimentation despite a lingering bacterial infection. Wally’s life
has been one of abject suffering, loneliness, and pain.