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Articles and Reports

Letter from Dr. Shirley McGreal in regard to SNBL USA Ltd. facility

14 January 2007

To Michael Budkie
From Dr. Shirley McGreal

Thank you for sending me a copy of the USDA inspection report dated 4 August 2005, written subsequent to the agency’s inspection of the SNBL USA Ltd. facility.

I am appalled that a “study that involves a toxic substance” should be considered “non-painful and non-stressful.” The inspector also noted that the toxic agent had actually killed two animals. The inspector rightly reports that there is a potential that “debilitated animals on study may suffer unnecessarily.” In fact, it is likely that ALL animals on the study underwent terrible pain, stress, and suffering before being killed.

Further, it is reported that a veterinarian is employed only three days a week by the facility, and that it lacks a written program of veterinary care.

The inspector describes a case in which a severely debilitated monkey who weighed 3.91 kg. on 20 February 2005, was placed on a study in April 2005, although the animal in question was described as already having lost 32% of his February weight. Despite that, he/she was placed on the. On 9 May 2005 he/she weighed 2.29 kilos. By this time he/she had become even more emaciated and his/her total weight loss 41%. The animal was clearly suffering greatly, and developed lesions. He/she was killed on 21 May. The inspector reports that this animal “suffered needlessly and excessively.” I concur.

The inspector also looked into the fate of a shipment of 109 marmosets received by SNBL on 9 June 2005. Twenty of these animals had died by 11 July. Many animals were described as suffering from “emaciation” or “extreme weight loss.”

The inspector noted that some cages had not been sanitized in two weeks and recommended that cage cleaning be properly scheduled and monitored.

I am totally appalled by what I read. Although there is no indication what toxic (poisonous) substance was administered to primates or for what purpose, there is no way that kind of protocol can be done without stressing the animals forced to endure it.

It is tragic that so many animals have been mistreated as described in this report and, as a result, suffered so greatly before dying. We hope that the animal dealer who supplied the animals, and any contractor who \paid for the research, was informed of what they are supporting. No animal deserves to be treated in such a cruel manner.

Frankly this report makes me ashamed to be a member of the human race which inflicts such suffering on the wonderful primates who share our world. I really regret that USDA does not have the right to file criminal cruelty prosecutions as this case would surely warrant scrutiny.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Shirley McGreal
IPPL Chairwoman

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