Severe negligence at the University of Kansas Medical Center caused lab monkeys to die of dehydration and suffer needlessly through morphine withdrawal, an animal-rights group claims.
In a complaint filed Tuesday, Ohio-based Stop Animal Exploitation Now asks the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate the way the animals were treated and how they died.
“These primates were experiencing unrelieved pain,” said Michael Budkie, the organization’s executive director.
A spokesman for the medical center called the complaint “old news” and said KU has been working closely with USDA to correct problems at its animal research facility.
The USDA regulates animal research laboratories. It cited the medical center last year for about 160 violations at the research facility. KU has agreed to pay fines of $62,500 for 63 violations, according to the USDA.
Budkie said that in 2008, KU lab workers discovered two monkeys were severely dehydrated and close to death after water supplies to the research facility were disrupted. The monkeys had to be euthanized. A third monkey had died a few days earlier of what also appeared to be dehydration, Budkie said.
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