"This lab performed animal experiments involving pain or distress but no
analgesics, anesthetics or pain relievers were administered."
Oregon Health Sciences University/Oregon Primate Research Center
The Primate Center at the Oregon Health Sciences University is made up
largely of white concrete rooms, steel cages, and only a shelf of barred steel
for the primates to sleep on. Some rooms had lots of macaques, two cages high
and on both sides of the room, some less. They get monkey biscuits every day,
their main diet, and a few veggies.
Psychological enrichment consisted of a piece of white plastic/acrylic, maybe
two inches by five, with holes drilled in it to stuff raisins into, hanging on
the outside of the cage. Or an apparatus similar to a bird feeder, tall and
narrow, that we put granola into. Only macaques that were self-injuring or
pulling out their hair had these. And, I believe, there was only one television
that I ever saw for the whole section of the lab I worked in. It got moved to
different rooms, of which there were many, but not very often. It took either
four or five of us to hose the cages, and yes, the monkeys got wet. It took
awhile to gain skill in that area and the hose had a lot of pressure. And there
were a lot of feces under the cages when we cleaned. That done, many had been
taught to jump into a small metal cage and to stick their arm out for blood
draws and for a treat.
There were studies on aging, cocaine, and aids in a separate unit, and tests
regarding genetic altering. I was cautioned too not touch the syringe even.
I remember that one rather large male macaque was made to walk down the hall,
with a ring around his neck and steel bars extending to walk him at a safe
distance. Then he was walked into a room and strapped into a chair and what
looked like tinfoil wrapped around his penis with wires going to it and a shock
delivered to cause him to ejaculate almost instantaneously. Then he was taken
back to his steel cage, he seemed to almost fill it, in a white concrete room.
Other than facing each other across the room, their lives were isolated,
except for a few rare couples. One macaque was in a room alone, in the standard
Some monkeys had vests with a tube which ran out of the back.
I was once allowed to watch a necropsy. No medications, the monkey was made
to bleed, then cut open and organs removed as he bled to death. Was told it was
necessary for accurate studies.
At some point, it became my duty to hang tags indicating surgery or
euthanasia. Each had a different color, and I believe the monkeys knew the
difference. I know what anthropomorphism is, and as a caregiver, I knew
something about objective observation. I kept seeing the same behaviors. The
monkeys with the euthanasia tags crouched further back in the cage and hardly
screeched. I saw cowering in the corner, loud vocalizing, and grimacing when I
hung the tags. They were colored differently for surgery or necropsy, and the
tags for their termination were recognized. The macaques who were going for
surgery continued to scream and fuss. They knew they were coming back.
Rats, mice, birds, amphibians and other animals have
been excluded from coverage by the Animal Welfare Act. Therefore research
facility reports do not include these animals. As a result of this
situation, a blank report, or one with few animals listed, does not mean
that a facility has not performed experiments on non-reportable animals. A
blank form does mean that the facility in question has not used covered
animals (primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, pigs,
sheep, goats, etc.). Rats and mice alone are believed to comprise over 90%
of the animals used in experimentation. Therefore the majority of animals
used at research facilities are not even counted.
We welcome your comments and questions