URGENT NEWS ADVISORY
Tuesday, February 24, 2014
Contact: Michael Budkie, SAEN, 513-575-5517, 513-703-9865 (cell),
5 Primates Strangulated, 1 Dead from Infection at San Antonio
National Research Watchdog Group Urges Hefty $40,000 Federal Fine
SAN ANTONIO, TX – A recently obtained government inspection
report documents yet another primate strangulation death – the third
over the last 12 months – at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute
(TBRI), according to a national research watchdog organization.
Nonprofit SAEN, which monitors laboratories across the nation,
said it has filed a third USDA complaint against TBRI calling for a
$40,000 federal fine.
A USDA report of Jan. 29 of this year revealed that another
monkey has died of strangulation after becoming entangled in cage
cables. This is the third such death at TBRI reported in 12 months.
Correspondence between TBRI and the National Institutes of Health
indicate two more monkeys strangulated when their collars became
entangled in an enclosure, and a chimpanzee was euthanized due to a
severe infection following a surgical procedure.
The TBRI lab should be heavily fined - $40,000, said SAEN, which
uncovered the deaths and has filed a federal complaint with the
USDA, which oversees research laboratories.
The Texas Biomedical Research Institute has a history of breaking
federal laws. This same facility also paid a $25,714 fine during
2012 which again involved improper handling of primates and deaths.
“Five monkeys have now died of strangulation, and a chimp was
euthanized due to a severe bacterial infection at TBRI,” said
Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, SAEN.
“This facility deserves the maximum
penalty allowable under the law.”
All records are available upon request.
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