The New England Primate Research Center (NEPRC), a Harvard Medical School facility in Southborough, MA, has just received five citations from the USDA, following an inspection in July prompted by reports of unauthorized experiments.
One of the citations was issued for the death of a primate who had to be euthanized after being given an overdose of anesthesia, which led to renal failure.
NEPRC was cited for poor training and instruction in the proper use of anesthetics and tranquilizers along with four other violations of the Animal Welfare Act including “inadequate supervision, inadequate housing of animals, unsanitary conditions in operating rooms, and performing procedures on research animals that were not described in the center’s approved uses,” which is illegal, reports the Worcester Telegram and Gazette.
These citations have been issued on the heels of last year’s violations, where an allegedly dead monkey was sent through a cage washer. Following that incident, staff was retrained and supervision was increased. The USDA considers that matter corrected.
“This is the second time in just over a year that the death of a primate at the New England Primate Center has involved negligence,” said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director of Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN).
“How many animals have to be killed by carelessness before the USDA takes action against this criminal lab?”
The Southborough facility is one of eight National Primate Research Centers, housing 1,800 primates, and, like the other centers, receives most of its funding from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), which is a branch of the National Institutes of Health. Millions upon millions of dollars, paid for by taxpayers.
The list of violations at NEPRC goes way back. According to government documents obtained by SAEN, these labs routinely deprive primates of food and water, use severe confinement, restraint, electric shock and isolation causing such a level of stress that they self-mutilate. Hundreds of animals are used in painful experiments without anesthesia and killed leaving a trail of government documented incidents of negligence and discrepancies regarding the number of animals that are used, in addition to lying to federal regulators about the types of experiments they are conducting.
Sign the petition below supporting the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, which will phase out testing on primates and retire federally owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries. This act will save taxpayers millions annually and mark a milestone for animals by making this the first time a species has been exempted from testing in the U.S.
Photo credit: Graham Racher via flickr