UPDATE: Cruelty and Carelessness Come Back to Bite Animal Experimenter

Published by Lindsay Pollard-Post.

Update: A week after PETA exposed noncompliant infectious disease experiments on monkeys at the CDC that caused animals massive suffering and endangered human health, Charles Rupprecht, the former chief of the CDC’s rabies program who led the cruel experiments—and was banned from the CDC’s animal laboratories because of it—was forced to resign from Ross University, where he served as associate dean and head of oversight for experiments on animals.

Originally posted on September 15, 2014:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently come under fire for mishandling live anthrax and potentially exposing dozens of employees to the deadly bacteria as well as cross-contaminating a benign bird flu strain with a deadly one. As Bloomberg Businessweek put it, “A series of mistakes revealed in recent months has made security at the [CDC] look as rigorous as the safeguards in a high school science class.” But the CDC’s incompetence runs even deeper yet, as it’s causing animals who are imprisoned in its laboratories to suffer terribly—leaving both humans and animals vulnerable to deadly pathogens.

According to an employee whistleblower report—which PETA confirmed by obtaining federal documents—two sick monkeys who were slated to be used in infectious disease experiments at the CDC were placed under intensely hot heat lamps and heating pads for hours. Because the experiment wasn’t properly monitored, the monkeys sustained major third-degree burns on their arms and backs. The monkeys’ burns were so severe that their skin had peeled off and muscle was sloughing off their bones—laboratory staffers even talked about amputating the arm of one of the monkeys. These photos, leaked to PETA by the whistleblower, show how badly the monkeys suffered:

CDC - Monkey with bandaged arms

This monkey languishes with badly burned arms.

CDC - Monkey with burned back

Deep, painful burns cover this monkey’s back.

But that’s not all. While verifying the burn incident, PETA uncovered federal records revealing that Charles Rupprecht, then-chief of the CDC’s rabies program, knowingly injected monkeys with a strain of rabies that the animal handlers weren’t inoculated against and didn’t inform the staff. Rupprecht resigned upon learning that he was about to be asked to step down from his position and banned permanently from access to all CDC animal laboratories. Rupprecht has since joined the faculty at the notorious Ross University.

Many other animals have paid with their lives as a result of employee recklessness and errors at the CDC—including two monkeys who died unexpectedly, mice who were used in an infectious disease study and died because they weren’t properly monitored, hamsters who succumbed to dehydration, a rabbit who was wrongly euthanized, and bats who lost their lives after escaping. One inadequately monitored monkey’s intestines even spilled out of her body when she pulled out the sutures after a surgery.

PETA is calling on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to discipline any CDC employees who are found responsible for mistreating animals and mishandling infectious agents.

Please share these photos on Facebook and Twitter to let your friends see for themselves the true cost of experimenting on animals. Also, please ask the federal government to stop tormenting baby monkeys in cruel and irrelevant experiments.

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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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind