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Articles and Reports

Letter of Complaint to the USDA about the University of California, Davis

1081-B St. Rt. 28 PMB 280
Milford, Ohio 45150


Dr. Robert Gibbens
Director, Western Region
2150 Centre Ave.
Building B, Mailstop 3W11
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117

Dr. Gibbens,

I am contacting you today regarding the University of California, Davis. Internal clinical records for several primates at this facility indicate a clear and consistent lack of adequate observation of animals and veterinary treatment. I will provide you with several examples of primates that have recently died at this facility which illustrate this situation.

Primate 27432 -- The necropsy states: “The cutaneous lesions were consistent with clinical diagnosis of self trauma.” This primate was handled for cage moves, clinical treatments, serum samples, etc. 323 times in 14 years and seven months of life span. Self injury is never mentioned until the necropsy report which lists self trauma. It was never noticed.

Primate 30805 is listed with a finger amputations on Jan 6 2003 and in July 2003. But, then there are no mentions of injuries from July 2003 – through death in Jan of 2008, a period of 5 years. At death this primates is described as: “The animal is presented in good flesh with severe traumatic injuries (self-inflicted) on all limbs.” There is no mention of injuries for the 4 ˝ years from July 2003 – death in Jan of 2008. Clearly, this is inadequate observation.

Primate 33659 is described at necropsy: “The animal is presented in good flesh with multiple, mostly healed or healing cutaneous lacerations. . . . (self-trauma).” In the entire clinical record there is no mention of lacerations, or treatments for lacerations.

Primate 34975 The necropsy for this animal states: “There are multiple (self-inflicted) cutaneous abrasions/lacerations. (self-trauma).” Injuries are never mentioned in clinical record.

Primate 35297 The necropsy states: “The animal is presented thin with multiple (self-inflicted) cutaneous lacerations.” “Skin self-inflicted injury.” Other than a mention of “lip inflammation, traumatic agent” in August of 2007 there is no mention of injuries.

Primate 35927 The necropsy states: “The animal is presented thin with multiple cutaneous abrasions/lacerations (self-injurious behavior).” There are no mentions of injuries during the entire lifetime of this animal.

Primate 27257 The necropsy states: “The animal is presented in good flesh with severe musculotaneous trauma to the right arm and the right side of the face.” “Body as a whole traumatic abnormality (bite wounds).” The clinical record states on 6/3/98 “chronic intermittent upper extremity self mutilation” However, despite the fact that this animal has an issue with self-inflicted injuries, the records reveal no mentions of treatments or even that injuries were noticed, for a ten year period. IN fact, the injuries are first mentioned at necropsy.

It is eminently clear from the clinical records for these and other animals, that observation of the primates at this facility is somewhere between inadequate and non-existent. Either injuries are ignored, or at the very least, they are not reported to veterinarians for treatment.

This situation is clearly a violation of section 2.33 of the Animal Welfare Act.

I find the attitude of callousness and negligence at this facility to be nothing less than shocking.

So, it is clear that the staff of the University of California, Davis systematically ignores injuries in primates allowing them to be diagnosed only at death. Therefore I request that you initiate action to levy the most substantial fine allowable under current federal regulations. I also request that you immediately suspend any projects which involve repeat violations.

I look forward to hearing of the results of your investigation as soon as possible.


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

See also: University of California, Davis clinical records and necropsy reports.

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