It is apparent that the condition of the primates at the
NENPRC is a cause for great concern. The psychological well being of these
animals is a major issue with over 370 primates (rhesus and squirrel
monkeys) exhibiting abnormal behavior. Apparently the situation is
worsening as ever more primates are listed with psychological pathologies.
It is highly possible that these unfortunate primates are being maintained
in a purposely stressed and psychologically abnormal condition so that
they may serve as subjects in one of ten separate experiments at NENPRC
which deal with psychological pathology including self-injury. It is also
possible that the instances of psychological abnormality within the
squirrel monkeys at the NENPRC may be due to the use of a group of these
primates in addiction experimentation which can involve confinement to
restraint chairs, the use of electric shock, and/or drug withdrawal.
The overall infant mortality rate at the center may be
as high as 55%, with 144 neonatal deaths/spontaneous abortions taking
place in one year. Also, the vast majority (159) of the marmosets within
the experimental colony of the center died during the last reporting year,
primarily from disease.
417 primates died (were necropsied) at the center during
the 2002 – 2003 reporting year, or more than one animal every day. 189
died of disease, 179 died during experimentation. Another 49 deaths remain
The only conclusion that can be drawn from these issues
is that the primates at the NENPRC are, overall, highly stressed animals
with significant instances of disease both physical and psychological in
nature. The issues raised in this report must cast doubt on the quality of
veterinary care given to the primates within this laboratory. The high
number of animals who die during experimentation must also raise serious
concerns as to the invasiveness of the experimentation. The psychological
needs of many of these animals are also apparently being ignored to insure
the existence of a population of mentally aberrant animals for use in
The physiological and psychological condition of the
primates at NENPRC are causes of such serious concern as to raise
substantial doubts as to the validity of the experimentation at NENPRC.
The high levels of disease in the marmoset colony raise serious doubts as
to the scientific validity of all experiments involving marmosets. The
apparently high level of psychologically abnormal behavior in the squirrel
monkey population and in the individually housed macaques at NENPRC raises
serious doubts regarding any experiments involving these animals.