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

USDA Complaints

MPI Whistleblower Statement

Stop Animal Exploitation Now was recently contacted by a whistleblower regarding the treatment of animals and the testing of drugs and other compounds at the MPI Research facility in Mattawan. The information disclosed by this conscientious individual is shocking in terms of the potential effects on public safety as well as disturbing in terms of animal abuse.

MPI tests both drugs and other toxic compounds so that the information we received has the potential to have a negative impact on each of us in our daily lives.

Non-human primates are used by MPI in the testing of both drugs and other compounds. We have been told several very distressing things about this testing, beginning with the primates themselves. Apparently when primates are shipped to MPI, often from companies like Covance, they arrive without any water in their shipping containers, potentially endangering their lives. Many of the primates are apparently very young, because their teeth are still erupting.

The information which we have been given indicates that many of the staff at MPI are either very new or inadequately trained, or both. These insufficiently experienced staff are often involved with oral dosing projects with the primates leading to many mistakes, which are often either injurious or fatal for the primates. In some instances the chemicals used in the dosing tubes are inserted improperly, leading to death. The technicians are also pressured by the company to move quickly, and this leads to many mistakes. Testing compounds are administered to the wrong animals, or even the wrong species such as compounds which were meant for rats being administered to primates.

When test chemicals, such as a chemotherapy drug, are administered to primates it is usually easy to see the side effects of a substance. Often the first sign of side effects in an animal is the alteration of the appearance of the hair coat. Depending on the substance being tested this can progress into weight loss, vomiting, and other more serious side effects. For testing to be performed properly all negative symptoms which are observed must be reported immediately to veterinarians, and recorded in the documents relevant to the testing compound.

Our source told us that very often the symptoms of distress in primates being used at MPI for the testing of drugs and other compounds are ignored until the animals are almost dead, in order that the apparent effects of the testing compounds can be minimized to allow for passage into the human market. Additionally, we are told that compounds have been passed into the human market even when they have killed all or the majority of the primates used in the testing.

We have been told that the substances tested on the primates at MPI are often so toxic that they erode the animalsí stomachs and cause tissue to protrude from the rectum.

Our source also tells us that since there is no observation of the primates overnight it is not uncommon for them to reach a position where a limb is stuck in the cage, and by the time this situation is observed the primate has died.

These are clear violations of Sec. 2.33 of the Animal Welfare Act which requires adequate daily observation of animals and the administration of appropriate veterinary care. These situations may also lead to violations of the reporting requirements of the Animal Welfare Act including Sec. 2.36.

Our source has also said that when potentially addictive drugs are tested on the primates at MPI they developed severe psychological issues, tearing out their own hair and illustrating other psychological abnormalities.

This information demonstrates obvious violations of the Animal Welfare Act requirements for Environmental Enhancement for primates in section 3.81.

Our source at MPI has said that some of the animal care technicians who are inexperienced treat the primates much more roughly than necessary, potentially injuring them in this process. This increases their stress and raises the potential for injury. The fear caused by these actions has led to several technicians being bitten due to the animals fear.

This illustrates clear violations of the animal handling provisions of Sec. 2.131 requiring proper handling of animals to not cause trauma, stress, or discomfort.

The atmosphere at MPI is repressive and supervisory staff are unwilling to enforce animal protection regulations and routinely retaliate against whistleblowers, in some instances resulting in dismissal.

We have also been told by this source that when testing of toxic substances is completed the chemicals are not disposed of in an appropriate fashion, instead these potentially dangerous substances are simply poured down the drain, possibly endangering the inhabitants of Mattawan by contaminating the water supply.

It is impossible to ascertain the entirety of the situation within the labs at MPI without gaining entry to this facility. Since SAEN is not a governmental regulatory agency we do not have the authority to adequately address this situation independently.

Therefore, we have forwarded this information to the USDA/APHIS/REAC with a request that an immediate investigation be performed.

We have also forwarded this information to the FDA because of the way in which it is relevant to the safety of drugs destined for the human market. It is highly likely that the safety of many people has been jeopardized by the behavior of this corporation and its staff.

In summary, the kind of animal abuse, general negligence, and scientific misconduct which has been described to us could potentially endanger the health of every human who might possibly take a drug tested at MPI. The incidents of animal abuse are obvious violations of federal regulations and should be punished swiftly and seriously. The federal government should take immediate and decisive action to penalize this criminal corporation.

I want to applaud the courage of the individual who has come forward to expose the dangerous and deceitful behavior of this company and its employees. I want to encourage others to take the same step so that we can continue to monitor the situation at MPI to make sure that concrete changes are made to eliminate all human safety and animal protection issues.

For more information about MPI Research, see: 
Facility Reports and Information

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