Newsletters - The Defender
Spring 2010 Issue

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

Another Major SAEN Victory -- USDA again cites the University of Wisconsin for AWA Violations -- SAEN investigation continues

In the summer of 2009 issue of The Defender, we reported that the USDA had found the University of Wisconsin, Madison (UW) to be in violation of the Animal Welfare Act as a result of an Official Complaint filed by Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! in February of 2009. Since that initial complaint, we have kept the pressure on the UW, filing a second complaint on April 30, 2009. This second complaint also claimed a victory for the primates at UW with two new citations issued by the USDA against this university for inadequate veterinary care.

Our second complaint arose from SAEN’s research which discovered 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 also developed a severe brain abscess and experienced extreme pain over an extended period of time. Wally’s condition deteriorated so severely that a UW veterinarian recommended euthanasia:

“ . . . 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.”

However, Wally’s suffering was not ended humanely. Despite the recommendations of the UW’s own veterinarian, Wally continued to endure the pain and suffering of the illness that had been caused by the experimentation in which he was used.

This complaint also sought justice for another UW primate, Merde. Merde’s tragic life at the University of Wisconsin began in July of 2005 when he was placed in isolation. Throughout June and July of 2006, his records are riddled with notations like:

“thin hair lower legs”, “thin hair both legs and rt. side”, “thin hair sides and lower legs.”

These notations indicate that Merde is ripping out his own hair as a result of severe stress. However, nothing was done to address his psychologically abnormal behavior. His stress continues, and he begins to lose weight in late July:

“decreased/sparse muscle mass, especially hind limbs. Somewhat thin.”

Again, no intervention is recorded. Throughout the next month his records are again strewn with entries of abnormal behavior:

“hair is thinning on sides, back and legs now. Asked staff to use coconut for more enrichment. Appetite (decreased) all week” and “thin hair legs, sides, and back. Appetite still (down).”

Still traumatized by his confinement as late as January of 2008, Merde is again described as thin and having lost weight.

In Merde’s case the USDA cited the University of Wisconsin for inadequate veterinary care:

“Although treatment and observations were documented . . . recommendations discussed with the principal investigator were not followed. The research facility must ensure that the attending veterinarian has the appropriate authority to provide adequate veterinary care, oversee all animal husbandry practices and the role of the attending veterinarian must be understood by staff. The IACUC has investigated the situation and is addressing the situation through disciplinary action and retraining of staff.”

These citations issued by the USDA as a result of SAEN’s most recent complaints clearly demonstrate that the University of Wisconsin is a habitual breaker of federal laws. It is now also apparent that the USDA respects SAEN’s complaints and takes them very seriously.

Our probe of the University of Wisconsin is ongoing, and we intend to fight for justice for all of these innocent victims, until the day when no primates are imprisoned at the University of Wisconsin -- or in any other U.S. laboratory!.

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