Written by PETA
We’re just doing our part to help get a bit of money back for the government. And by “we,” I mean my colleague Justin Goodman, who, as a graduate student at the University of Connecticut, worked tirelessly to expose the hideous experiments carried out by David “The Butcher” Waitzman (I just made that nickname up, but who knows—maybe it’ll catch on with his students) who used a sizeable grant from the NIH to, among other things, drill holes into monkeys' skulls and implant steel coils into their eyes. Well, according to this morning’s Hartford Courant, the university has been ordered to return $65,005 of the grant as a result of animal welfare violations in Waitzman’s lab that were exposed during a USDA investigation prompted by Justin’s complaints.
Not only is this wonderful news for people who care about animals, but it will also serve as a powerful warning to other animal experimenters like Waitzman: Even if massive public outcry leaves them cold, you can bet that they’ll sit up and take notice once they know that someone like Justin is on the case—and that it may not be very long before their grant money’s on the line as well.
Well, we took a week off last week ’cuz, to be frank, researching these people can really ruin my Fridays sometimes—and if there was ever a man who could suck all the fun out of your weekend, it’s our latest winner (by a margin of 15-1!), Hagai Bergman, who enjoys romantic movies, long walks on the beach, and drilling holes into monkeys’ brains while they scream for mercy.
While Hagai shuffles into his rightful place as this week’s Vilest Vivisector, it’s time to turn our attention to the new blood. This week, we’ve got two researchers for you from the Yerkes Center at Emory University who are studying the psychology of despair the only way they know how … by inflicting it! So here it is—a PETA Files exclusive sneak peek into the very darkest reaches of two twisted human souls … it’s time to cast your vote for the next Vivisector of the Week!
Stuart Zola, Emory University.
Maria Sanchez, Emory University.
Will Mrs. Sanchez’s diabolical role as a parent who has devoted her life to wrenching infants from their mothers be enough to edge out the sadistic brain butcher Stuart Zola? Find out next week* when we crown the very latest Vivisector of the Week!
*The PETA Files cannot guarantee that they will remember to do this next week.
Remember the University of Connecticut story from a couple of weeks ago? Long story short: the USDA fined the University of Connecticut Health Center (UCHC) for seven violations of the Animal Welfare Act, stemming from experiments in which a guy named David Waitzman bolted restraint devices to monkeys' heads, drilled holes in their skulls, attached electrodes to their brains, and fastened small wire coils directly to their eyeballs.
Well we just took it a step further and filed a formal complaint with state auditors Kevin P. Johnston and Robert G. Jaekle urging them to investigate possible violations of the University of Connecticut's Code of Conduct as well as the possible misuse of public funds and property by the UCHC, its institutional Animal Care Committee (ACC), and UCHC animal experimenter David Waitzman.
Based on UConn graduate student Justin Goodman's 2005 complaints, the USDA confirmed that Waitzman was consistently in violation of laws governing the care and use of animals in research. Waitzman had received more than $1.7 million in federal funds to conduct the experiments, and part of his salary, the entire salaries of his support staff, and his overhead expenses were funded by state taxpayers, who will also have to pick up the tab for the $5,532 fine. Also, UCHC officials made false public statements regarding Waitzman's experiments.
UConn's Code of Conduct requires that faculty and staff abide by all federal, state, and institutional laws and regulations regarding the use of animals. However, since March 2003, UCHC has been cited for more than 65 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act related to the treatment of monkeys, cats, gerbils, guinea pigs, and rabbits at the facility. These violations include failure to employ personnel who were qualified to handle nonhuman primates, thus causing physical harm to the animals; failure to consider alternatives to painful procedures; failure to provide appropriate sedatives to animals; failure to painlessly euthanize a monkey who experienced severe tremors and seizures for more than six months; and conducting unauthorized experiments.
Here’s what PETA VP Bruce Friedrich had to say on the issue, "UConn has been torturing animals, making a mockery of its Code of Conduct, and squandering taxpayers' money in the process, UCHC's negligence and lack of oversight led directly to the prolonged suffering and deaths of animals, and we're calling on the state to impose all appropriate disciplinary measures."
I’ll keep you posted as things progress . . .
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.