Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Dead Monkey Raises Alarms At Primate Research Center

New England Primate Center
The New England Primate Center has been warned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s animal and plant health inspection services after a dead research monkey was discovered in a cage that had just been sterilized in an automatic washer.

A June 29 USDA inspection report signed by Dr. Paula S. Gladue, a veterinarian-inspector for the agency, says the body, described as a non-human primate, was found on the floor of a cage that had just gone through a sanitizing cycle in a washer. The discovery was made during a June 9 routine inspection of the facility, which is operated by Harvard Medical School. The report says that after gross and microscopic examinations of the animal, it was determined that it had died before the cage went through the washer.

However, Michael A. Budkie, executive director of Ohio-based Stop Animal Exploitation Now!, questioned yesterday if anyone really knows if the monkey was dead or alive before it was sent through the cage washer. Mr. Budkie, who said he previously worked in animal research laboratories, said it would be “difficult at best” to glean any information from a body sent through a sanitizer.

“It’s a terrible thing if it was sent in there alive,” he said. “But even if it was already dead, that says something very disturbing about the practices and procedures at this facility.”

Mr. Budkie has sent a letter to Dr. Jeffrey S. Flier, dean of Harvard University Medical School, requesting a tour of the Southboro center, along with a request to see primate health care records and results of the necropsy done on the monkey.

He got an acknowledgement e-mail that his letter was received, but nothing else, he said.

Full story here.

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