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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

Media Coverage

World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week Begins at OHSU

April 23rd, 2008 - By Jason Howd

Yesterday, representatives of the animal-rights group In Defense of Animals held a protest on the main campus of Oregon Health & Science University to highlight alleged animal abuse at the university’s Oregon National Primate Research Center in Hillsboro. The protest was held as part of World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week (April 20-26) and is the first of others to take place each day this week at other area OHSU facilities.

The complaints by IDA concern what activists claim is underreporting by researchers of primates’ levels of pain and distress on tests conducted without the use of analgesics, or pain relievers, at ONPRC.

Requirements in the Animal Welfare Act as mandated by U.S. Department of Agriculture state that research facilities must submit a bi-annual report including numbers of animals used in research, broken down by species and three categories of pain and distress.

Among the other seven labs listed in the U.S., OHSU’s last available reporting from 2006 indicates that the primates used in their research have had no problems with pain and distress.

“They’re not telling the truth,” says Matt Rossell (pictured above), Northwest Outreach Coordinator with IDA. “Of the more than 4,000 monkeys OHSU has, they're reporting zero with pain and distress. It's not possible.”  

Rossell, a former employee of the ONPRC, is best known for secretly recording photos and video from the research center that showed disturbing images of primates apparently being abused at the facility back in 2000.

Rossell claims some of the some of the research requires water or food deprivation, heavy restraints and induction of diseases such as malaria or immunodeficiency viruses. This, says Rossell, would no doubt induce pain and distress.

According to OHSU spokesman Jim Newman, of the three categories OHSU is required to report to USDA concerning this issue, those listed above do not qualify as pain and distress because they don’t require use of analgesics for the primates.

Newman says that IDA is getting their facts wrong. “It’s common for animal activists to review our publicly available data, and often their interpretation is incorrect,” he says, adding that the reason OHSU reports no pain and distress for the primates is that “they aren’t doing research on pain.”

For additional information, see: Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR

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