Animal group calls for investigation of monkey death at Franklin & Marshall lab
Media Coverage About SAEN Stop Animal Exploitation Now

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Dr. Robert Gibbens
Director, Animal Welfare Operations, USDA-APHIS
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Please levy the MAXIMUM FINE against Franklin & Marshall College for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act when their negligence allowed a monkey to bleed to death. Their behavior should NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

 

Animal group calls for investigation of monkey death at Franklin & Marshall lab

From Dan Nephin, LancasterOnline.com, December 7, 2020

An animal welfare group has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department Agriculture over the death of a research monkey at Franklin & Marshall College in August.

The male capuchin monkey bled to death after being attacked by other capuchin monkeys; staff found the dead monkey on Aug. 26 when they came to check on the monkeys, according to a report the school filed with the National Institute of Health's Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare shortly afterward.

On Monday, the organization Stop Animal Exploitation NOW called for the USDA to investigate, claiming the college may have violated two section of federal law covering animal handling and veterinarian care. The Ohio-based group wants the college fined the maximum of $10,000 for each of the two possible violations.

"If this monkey's injury had been seen sooner, before blood loss was so severe, he/she may not have died," Michael A. Budkie, SAEN's co-founder, wrote in the complaint.

Peter Durantine, a college spokesman, said incident was reported promptly to regulatory authorities.

"We reported the incident to regulatory authorities promptly, who reviewed the incident and deemed that it was an unfortunate circumstance that could not have been prevented," he said. The 17 monkeys are kept in social housing as it is "overwhelmingly preferred for social primates as it mimics their natural living conditions and has proven welfare benefits."

In the college's report to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare that was included in SAEN's complaint, faculty Dean Cameron Wesson wrote that the monkeys were behaving normally when staff left for the evening on Aug. 25.

The school's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee "determined that while extremely unfortunate, this social group incident was not predictable or preventable," he wrote.

Staff has since increased observation of the monkeys, and "members of the primary group have been interacting peacefully and affiliatively," he wrote.

Elizabeth Lonsdorf, an associate professor of psychology, runs the school's primate lab, which has two capuchin monkey families.

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