Newsletters - The Defender
Spring 2010 Issue
Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"
SAEN takes on UCSF and Wins!! -- USDA issues Crucial Citation
In April of 2009, Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! filed an official complaint against the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in the case of Amadeus, a primate who lived a horrible life at UCSF.
Amadeus was used in an experiment which injected an extremely toxic drug, MPTP, into his bloodstream. This drug causes death of brain tissue which results in difficult movement, tremors, etc.
The terrible stress of this experiment, his inability to move, and social isolation caused Amadeus to lose his mind. He became self-destructive, biting at his own flesh. His record stated that he “has many >10 small, older, non-infected, partially healed self bite wounds on R lower leg.”
After months of self-injury, the veterinarians at UCSF determined that it was time to free him from his suffering, and asked that he be used in procedures which would result in euthanasia. However, the researchers who had so damaged Amadeus refused, and his suffering continued. Eventually, the veterinarians prevailed, and Amadeus’ suffering was ended.
However, the story doesn’t end here. As a result of SAEN’s complaint, a USDA inspector investigated UCSF and examined Amadeus’ records. This inspector agreed that the treatment which Amadeus received was criminal. UCSF was cited for both inadequate functioning by the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee and inadequate veterinary care in Amadeus’ case.
These citations will not bring Amadeus back, nor are they adequate penalties for the suffering which he endured. However, they make a statement that the USDA will not allow criminally inadequate animal care to continue at UCSF. These citations are also very important because they demonstrate that the USDA takes complaints from SAEN seriously, and acts on our findings.
UCSF and many other laboratories are learning that the USDA is not their only inspector. Despite being limited to examining only veterinary records, SAEN finds violations of federal laws inside many research facilities, and pushes for meaningful enforcement.