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Press Releases

Watchdog Group Releases Photos from Charles River Lab; Criticizes Stark Conditions

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, December 10, 2008
Contact: Michael Budkie 513-575-5517; 513-703-9865 (cell)

Reno/Sparks, NV – SAEN, a national research watchdog organization, has obtained photographs of the Charles River lab in Sparks that reveal cramped and barren conditions with the potential to cause madness in primates. The photos came as part of a FOIA request response from the USDA regarding the maiming of primates revealed earlier this year.

“The stark and unnatural conditions inside the Charles River lab in Sparks are clearly cruel and would not be tolerated in any other situation,” said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, SAEN. “These enclosures are nothing more than tiny stainless steel barred boxes. If the goal is to cause insanity in primates, then I am sure they are probably succeeding.”

The psychologically complicated nature of rhesus monkeys has led to federal regulations requiring psychological stimulation for non-human primates. However, in many instances, such as Charles River Laboratories, the facilities meet minimum requirements by doing nothing more than placing a latex kong toy in a cage.

While exact cage dimensions of the CRL cages are not known, it is not uncommon for cage size to be 33 inches long by 30 inches wide by 36 inches deep. This is an extreme contrast to the natural environment of rhesus monkeys, in which they may traverse as much as 1 square mile of territory in a day.

The Charles River lab in Sparks has been the center of controversy for the duration of 2008. In early March SAEN revealed that several monkeys at this facility were severely injured, requiring amputation of their fingers. In August the controversy was re-ignited when it was learned that 32 primates had been killed by a heating system malfunction.

“The negligence which has taken place at this lab, combined with the way in which the animals are housed makes it clear that this facility considers these intelligent animals to be nothing more than inanimate objects,” added Budkie. “Their condition is clearly a distant second to cutting corners and minimizing costs.”

All government photos are available upon request.

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See: Charles River Laboratories, Sparks, NV for more information
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