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Articles and Reports

Letter to President of Alpha Genesis - 2 May 2008

Greg Westergaard, President                5/2/08
Alpha Genesis Inc. 95
Castle Hall Road P.O. Box 557
Yemassee, SC 29945

Mr. Westergaard,

I am contacting you today because I have received information from two sources that has given rise to serious concerns regarding the health and well-being of the primates within the facilities of Alpha Genesis Inc. The organization which I direct takes the welfare of primates very seriously. Therefore, in order that I may have the opportunity to assess the condition of the primates at Alpha Genesis, I would like to officially request a tour of all Alpha Genesis facilities as soon as possible. In order that the public can fully appreciate the situation, I believe that it would be wise to allow all available news media to participate in this tour. The public should not only read about the condition of the primates at Alpha Genesis, the people of South Carolina should have the opportunity to see the primates as well.

I am concerned about the primates within Alpha Genesis because the data that I have received raises very serious doubts about their condition. I have reviewed the records for several of your primates which have been sold to a prominent laboratory. These monkeys were all missing fingers and toes at arrival, and one of them “Has stripped hair coat on left leg.” The lost fingers and toes can only be explained in 3 ways. First, the primates at Alpha Genesis are overly aggressive and your staff has done little to separate the victims from the aggressive animals. I believe that this may be a violation of federal regulations which require primates to be protected from injury.

Second, there could have been some kind of handling accident in which the primates’ appendages were partially crushed requiring amputation of the injured fingers/toes. This would also be a situation in which your facility had violated federal law by handling the animals negligently.

Third, it is possible that through extreme confinement and/or social isolation these unfortunate primates have developed severe mental illness. This would fall under federal provisions requiring environmental enhancement to prevent mental pathologies, also being a potential violation. I have also been contacted by a whistleblower who has made several very serious allegations regarding potential violations of the Animal Welfare Act at the Alpha Genesis facility. These concerns, as well as information regarding the animals sold by your facility, have been forwarded to the United States Department of Agriculture in the form of an official complaint.

However, I believe that it is important that your organization make an effort to be open and forthcoming regarding these concerns. Since the primates at Alpha Genesis are used within facilities whose experimentation is federally funded, this gives the public a very real interest in the health and well-being of the primates at Alpha Genesis. Additionally, it is highly likely that either within your own facility, or within the labs of your customers, these primates are used in procedures to test chemical compounds that may be utilized by the public at a future date, potentially endangering the health of the general public. And so, we all have an interest in the health and well-being of the primates at Alpha Genesis. The general public has always had an interest in the welfare of all animals in laboratories, especially our closest relatives, non-human primates.

Therefore, so that the public interest may be provided for, and so that the well-being of all primates at Alpha Genesis may be ascertained, I officially request the opportunity to tour your facility at the earliest possible date. Again, I believe that it is essential that the news media be allowed to attend this tour as well – the public has a right to know.

Lastly, as a graduate Animal Health Technician, I am thoroughly acquainted with all procedures necessary to maintain sterility to protect both the health of the primates at Alpha Genesis and to avoid all biohazards. I will be happy to abide by all of the standard practices necessary for a laboratory.

Since we can certainly do this tour in a manner that would protect the safety of both the public and the primates, there can be no legitimate reason to deny this opportunity for openness. Therefore, if Alpha Genesis denies this legitimate request for a tour, then the only assumption that can be made is that you and or your facility have something to hide. I assume that you do not want to present this kind of an image. Therefore, I look forward to hearing from you ASAP, definitely within 5 business days. I can be reached by telephone at 513-575-5517 or email at [email protected] to expedite our communication.


Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T.,
Executive Director, SAEN 

See: Alpha-Genesis, Yemassee, SC for more information

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