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Articles and Reports

Official Complaint against the University of California, Davis

1081-B St. Rt. 28 PMB 280
Milford, Ohio 45150
[email protected] 513-575-5517

USDA/APHIS/AC 10/11/06
2150 Centre Ave.
Building B, Mailstop 3W11
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117

To The Director of Animal Care Western Region,

I am contacting you today to file an official complaint against the University of California, Davis and the California National Primate Research Center in particular. I believe that this facility has violated the Animal Welfare Act in several ways and that the USDA has also been prevented from conducting an effective investigation of a previous violation, that being the incident in August of 2004 at UC Davis which took the lives of seven cynomolgus monkeys.

Attached to this letter you will find the statement of Cheri Stevens, a former animal caretaker at the California National Primate Research Center. Her statement is filled with examples of violations of the Animal Welfare Act which range from simple physical abuse by UC Davis staff to inadequate feeding and husbandry for the primates at this facility.

Also, you may be unaware that Ms. Stevens was the first human to see the room in which the seven primates died at UC Davis in August of 2004, due to the heating malfunction. I find it very suspicious that she was never given the opportunity to discuss this incident with USDA investigators despite her first hand knowledge of this situation, specifically with regard to the condition of the primates when they were found, as well as the maintenance situation of the heating system in the room in which the primates were housed.

Other incidents occurred involving other animals, including a specific primate named Buzz (number MMU 25616). The circumstances surrounding the death of this animal constitute a clear example of negligence on the part of UC Davis staff. The suffering that this animal underwent is clearly intolerable.

Her statement regarding overall husbandry practices at UC Davis and the inadequacies of this system are a clear indictment of this facility and should provide you with numerous issues which need your attention. I will be happy to provide you with Ms. Stevens contact information after you receive this document.

Additionally, information which is contained in the summary of data from UC Davis primate necropsy reports serves only to underline the seriousness of the conditions at UC Davis. 125 of the animals are listed as being somewhere between thin and emaciated; 87 are listed as being slightly to severely dehydrated. It is clear that these animals are being allowed to reach an extremely advanced state of debilitation without receiving adequate veterinary care. The incidence of deaths related to trauma, and the incidence of self-inflicted trauma at this facility clearly indicate that the observation of the primates is inadequate and that the environmental enhancement requirements of the AWA are not being followed.

Additionally, the advanced state of autolysis which many of the primates bodies have reached before their discovery by UC Davis staff also indicate a lack of timely observation by UC Davis staff.

Lastly, it is clear that UC Davis has violated the reporting requirements of the animal Welfare Act by minimizing the number of primates within this facility which have experienced pain or distress in experimentation during the last several years. While some may see this as only a paperwork violation, Annual Reports are one of the chief ways in which the public gains access to information about laboratories, and so this non-reporting of the potentially painful/stressful nature of UC Davis experimentation is an obvious effort to mislead the public and should be dealt with harshly.

I am hereby requesting an official investigation of all aspects of animal care at the University of California, Davis which are referenced in this letter, or in the attached statements.

I would also request that you inform me of the results of this investigation immediately upon completion.

I appreciate your efforts, and I will look forward to hearing from you within the next several weeks.


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

Go on to CNPRC / ARS Heater Malfunction August 2004

See Facility Reports and Information:  University of California, Davis, CA
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