Animal Protection Groups Ask Nepal to Not Sell Primates to UW Because of High Animal Death Rate
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 27, 2004
Contact: Michael Budkie (513) 575-5517 or Shirley McGreal (843) 871-2280
SEATTLE - An international primate protection
organization and a research watchdog group today called for the
government of Nepal to end a relationship with the University of
Washington to prevent harm to Nepalese primates.
Nepal said it is considering legalizing the sale of
primates to the UW.
But at least one primatologist promoting the UW sale,
Dr. Mukesh Chalise, president of the Nepal Biodiversity Conservation
Society, said it is not their intention "to send our monkeys to death."
However, that is exactly what would happen to the
Rhesus monkeys if they go to the UW, according to the International
Primate Protection League and Stop Animal Exploitation Now.
"1 out of every 4 primates at the UW dies either of
disease or in experimentation," said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T.,
Executive Director SAEN, a Cincinnati-based watchdog group. According to
government documents, Budkie said 736 primates died at the UW in the
last fiscal year, including 400 from disease and another 336 during
Budkie also said the UW - which receives more than
$250 million annually for animal research from the National Institutes
of Health - has a history of suspicious animal deaths, and has been
fined more than $20,000 by the government for animal care violations.
"In light of the ongoing relationship between the UW
and the Dept. of Defense, which has given the UW nearly $3 million this
past year, we are very concerned monkeys from Nepal could end up as
subjects of experiments involving chemical or biological weapons," added
"We have long admired the traditional protection that
monkeys have enjoyed in Nepal and India and are very disappointed that
Nepal is allowing the United States to fund a monkey laboratory in
Nepal. We urgently request compassionate Nepalis to do all they can to
make sure this project is stopped and that the wild monkeys of Nepal
continue living free in their beautiful homeland," said Dr. Shirley
McGreal, director of IPPL, which has been working for 30 years for the
protection of monkeys.