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USDA Complaints

Letter to USDA about multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act at the University of Minnesota


1081-B St. Rt. 28 PMB 280
Milford, Ohio 45150
513-575-5517
www.saenonline.org

Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer      04/21/08               
USDA/APHIS/AC
920 Main Campus Drive, Suite 2000
Raleigh, NC 27606

Dr. Goldentyer,

I am contacting you today in reference to the University of Minnesota.  I believe that this facility has violated multiple sections of the animal welfare act.  It appears that the university may have improper enclosures for primates, or the staff is not operating the enclosures properly.  Monkeys escaped from their cages on 6/11/07 (two monkeys in same room) with one of them receiving 4 -5 lacerations;  Axel escaped during cage transfer on 9/13/05 and was injured;  Hermione & Narcissa escaped on 6/5/07 and were injured;  on 4/20/07 Watson escaped from his cage and was injured while walking across cage tops. 

Other issues also point to negligence or poorly constructed equipment.  On 7/14/05 one monkey (Namaki) activated the squeeze cage apparatus her cagemate Fiona, causing substantial injuries.  This should not have been possible.  ON 8/10/05 05GP13 was injured during use of a squeeze cage to capture for handling “Multiple laceration to Rt. Hand, 2nd, 3rd, 4th digits which occurred during cage squeezing.”  The same animal got an arm stuck in cage on 1/2/06.It is clear that this facility has substantial problems regarding the handling and housing of primates.

Also, internal records from the U of MN indicate that there are serious problems in the laboratory of Dr. Marilyn Carroll:

Primate #312A is described “Still overdosing on current drug dosage, ataxic, hypersalivating, disoriented.” 7/26/05 & 7/28/05  also, 4/2/07 generalized alopecia “On current drug dosage ataxic, hypersalivating, disoriented.” On 8/23/05 #312E shows evidence of  evidence of self-mutilation  “did bite knee after observation.”  Primate #45C on 3/21/06 listed as “extremely thin, body condition is poor, severe alopecia, . . .  bruising on top of left ankle.”   #45D  on 11/15/05 “NHP observed by LACT ripping hair from the armpit area and chewing on the fur, each time he would grab a tuft of fur he would vocalize”  #78B 9/7/05 (Carroll) “extreme alopecia” and still has severe alopecia on 9/11/06;  #25A (Carroll) lost part of his tongue on 3/22/05 ;  #25b was overdosed on 9/14/04 and on 11/15/05 “NHP was observed by LACT ripping hair from the armpit area and chewing on the fur, each time he would grab a tuft of hair he would vocalize.”

It is clear that these animals are suffering from major mental pathologies.  This may indicate violations in the area of environmental enhancement.  Additionally, it is readily apparent that these primates are experiencing substantial pain and/or distress.  Therefore, this facility has violated reporting requirements regarding these animals.   

Sections of the regulations that this facility has violated are listed below.

I look forward to hearing from you in the near future about the fate of this facility.

Sincerely,

Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T.,
Executive Director, SAEN

See Facility Reports and Information about University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

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