PETA Statement: Monkey Deaths at Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute

For Immediate Release:
December 30, 2019

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Albuquerque, N.M. – Please see the following statement from PETA regarding the death of two monkeys at Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in Albuquerque.

Animals in laboratories at Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute are trapped inside a living nightmare—and veterinarians appear to be missing in action. PETA is calling on the National Institutes of Health to withdraw its approval of the Lovelace’s Assurance, which would cut off the company’s permission to obtain grants from federal agencies.

A just-released government report obtained by PETA reveals that the contract testing laboratory has been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for three violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including two “critical” violations—the most severe type. According to the November 19, 2019, report, a 2.5-year-old monkey died during a procedure in which he was being forced to inhale an experimental compound through a mask covering his mouth and nose. The monkey had not been properly monitored during the procedure and became unresponsive, but a veterinarian was not called to tend to the animal. Additionally, the monitoring equipment was apparently not functioning properly, and an autopsy was not carried out on the monkey, in violation of the experimental protocol. In a separate incident, another 2.5-year-old monkey was found dead in the cage where he was being held with five other monkeys—even though they were incompatible—and he appears to have starved to death or died of dehydration.

In 2011, Lovelace was cited by U.S. authorities for six violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act—including the strangulation death of a monkey who became caught on an experimental jacket and the escape of an infant monkey—and fined $21,750. Lovelace was cited for 23 violations in just the past 56 months. The laboratory failed to provide beagles suffering from painful conditions with veterinary care. A monkey stopped eating, but the attending veterinarian wasn’t consulted, and the animal was later found dead in her enclosure. An anesthetized dog suffered respiratory arrest and died when his lungs overinflated because a device measuring pulmonary function wasn’t used properly. Six guinea pigs suffocated when they were tightly packed into a small enclosure to be transported and then left there for nearly an hour. Multiple experimenters at Lovelace deviated from protocols that had been approved by the institute’s animal experimentation oversight body—likely resulting in “unanticipated pain and distress.”

Although the USDA has filed report after report on Lovelace’s failures—and even fined the institution—these efforts have failed to bring the company into compliance and have left monkeys, dogs, and other animals at the mercy of a laboratory that, frankly, doesn’t seem to care.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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