In response to a series of significant animal welfare violations and complaints filed by PETA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has taken the rare step of fining the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) almost $12,000 for repeated violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. ONPRC imprisons, sickens, terrorizes, and mutilates thousands of monkeys each year in experiments with impunity, so it’s good to know that the facility will be punished for causing animals to suffer more by failing to uphold even minimum standards.
A Record of Recklessness
The violations, which took place in 2009, included the escape of nine monkeys from the facility as well as the deaths of five other monkeys from a variety of causes, including from dehydration, being injected with unapproved compounds, and improper procedures performed by an inadequately trained employee. Following the escape, PETA called on the USDA to investigate and issue a fine to ONPRC.
In 2007, PETA conducted a shocking undercover investigation, which exposed horrific laboratory conditions at ONPRC. The next year, the USDA issued an “official warning”—the precursor to a fine—to ONPRC. Internal documents obtained by PETA had revealed that a sick pregnant monkey died after being denied veterinary care, that a surgical sponge was left in a baboon—causing an abscess—and was discovered only after he was killed for an experiment, and that experimenters mistakenly performed surgery on the wrong monkey. After repeatedly finding negligence and callous disregard, federal investigators are finally speaking the only language that ONPRC understands: dollars and cents.
What You Can Do
Take a stand for the animals imprisoned at ONPRC. Ask the National Institutes of Health to stop funding cruel and useless nicotine experiments on animals at ONPRC and elsewhere.