Oregon Health and Science University defends primate center record, says animal rights complaint unjustified

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Please contact Dr. Robert Gibbens and demand that he take immediate action against the Oregon Health and Science University for the negligence which killed 10 primates and caused dozens of others to suffer unnecessarily.

Dr. Robert Gibbens
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(970) 494-7478
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Oregon Health and Science University defends primate center record, says animal rights complaint unjustified

By Nick Budnick, OregonLive.com, Friday, February 7, 2014

Oregon Health & Sciences University has responded to a complaint filed by an animal rights group alleging substandard care at the Oregon National Primate Research Center.

The Ohio-based group Stop Animal Exploitation Now has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture accusing the university of violating animal welfare laws, citing four incidents in which 10 monkeys died between February 2012 and June 2013.

In one instance a fight broke out among more than 200 monkeys aggravated by nearby construction, and six were killed. In another, a monkey was killed by food later found to be substandard, filled with excessive vitamin D.

The letter, written by the group's Michael Budkie, accuses OHSU of a "long history" of animal abuse and asks for the most severe penalty possible.

The primate center houses about 5,000 primates and is used for research into areas such as stem cells, preventing hereditary diseases in newborns and an HIV vaccine.

"OHSU and ONPRC employees are saddened by these events," said the OHSU response. "Because ONPRC staff work hard to provide the highest levels of care to our animals, accidental deaths are rare." It added that the National Institutes of Health animal welfare office "determined that the university's actions taken to prevent recurrence of the incidents were appropriate, and OHSU was not fined or cited for improper animal care by any oversight agency in connection with any of the deaths."

OHSU posts its inspection reports online. The animal rights group has a page devoted to OHSU. 

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