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Fact Sheets

Primate Experimentation in the U.S. - U.C. Davis
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The Facts About Primate Experiments

Primate experimentation in the U.S. is out of control. Over 96,000 primates are imprisoned in US labs. The number of primates confined in laboratories has risen 42% in the last five years.

Funding for primate experimentation has also increased, reaching $1.1 billion during fiscal 2002. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is responsible for most of this waste, contributing over $950 million to the total. The number of NIH-funded primate projects has increased 54.6% in the last ten years exceeding 1513.

The National Primate Research Center system tortures and imprisons almost 31,000 primates per year such as: chimpanzees, rhesus monkeys, titi monkeys, squirrel monkeys, and baboons. The eight labs that make up the NPRC system are connected with Harvard, Emory, University of Washington, University of Wisconsin, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, Oregon Health Sciences University, Tulane, and University of California (Davis). The NPRC system uses over $600,000,000 annually.

Suffering & Death at UC, Davis

The University of California, Davis - California Primate Research Center (CPRC) imprisons over 6000 primates per year. 583 total primates died at UC Davis during the 2002 – 2003 year. 147 of these deaths involved stillbirths, neonatal deaths, or deaths of primates who lives totaled only a few days or months. 123 adult primates died of natural causes or were euthanized for medical reasons. 318 primates were killed during experimentation, and/or necropsied per experimental protocol.

Deaths from Disease

During 2003 – 2003, 123 adult primates died of natural causes or were euthanized for humane reasons. 37% (46) had reached an advanced state of inanition (emaciation) 32% (39) were severely dehydrated. This indicates that disease conditions are being allowed to progress much too far without adequate veterinary intervention. Many of these animals are listed simply as “found dead in cage” with no clinical history. In other words, they were seriously ill without receiving any veterinary care. A 3-year and 9-month old primate was necropsied on 1/15/03. This unfortunate animal has lost 40% of her body weight in a period of 22 days. Another primate was necropsied on 8/27/02. She had lost 34% of her body weight in a period of weeks. A third primate was necropsied on 8/6/02. He had lost 42% of his body weight in a period of less than one month. Clearly these animals are being neglected up to the point of death.

Infant Mortality at U.C. Davis

During the 2002 – 2003 year there were 142 infant/neonatal deaths at the UC Davis/CPRC. This contrasts with 646 total births. This computes to a 22% infant mortality rate. Additionally, in the older cases of infant deaths (non-stillbirth non-fetal) over half were suffering from inanition (severe weight loss) or dehydration (26 of 47/25 of 47). These animals were allowed to suffer needlessly because their conditions progressed to an unnecessarily severe ending. Apparently either their decline was totally unnoticed, or their conditions were ignored until they were found dead.

U.C. Davis Experiments

Many primates at UC Davis are used in brain-mapping experiments. These projects attach recording cylinders to the skulls of these innocent animals. Eye coils are implanted. Electrodes are forced into the brain. Primates are also confined to restraint chairs and deprived of water for extended periods of time.

Craniotomies are often performed on primates at UC Davis. These procedures cut holes into the animals’ skull for the insertion of electrodes into the brain. Other procedures cut openings into the membranes that protect the brain for electrode insertion. Restraint bars are attached to the skulls of these animals, so their heads can literally be bolted into place during experimental procedures.

Government Waste

Most primates are not used in experiments that study the diseases that kill most Americans. Projects that study primate psychology, alcohol & addictive drugs, brain-mapping, and sex in primates far outnumber studies involving heart disease or cancer.

Repetition is rampant among NIH-funded projects. Currently, 175 NIH projects study neural information processing in macaque monkeys. These useless experiments waste over $70 million in federal tax dollars every year. Many of these projects continue on for decades wasting millions of tax dollars each year and victimizing primates for an entire lifetime.

What you can do to help:

1. Read, copy, and distribute this fact sheet.

2. Write to your federal legislators to request a General Accounting Office (GAO) investigation of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded primate experimentation.

The Honorable____________ 202-234-3121
U.S. House of Representatives 
Washington, D.C. 20515

Senator __________________ 202-234-3121
U.S. Senate 
Washington, D.C. 20510

3. Send as large a tax-deductible donation as you can afford to Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! (SAEN) to support this campaign.

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