Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

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Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Letter of Complaint to USDA 19 Mar 2012

See Letter of Complaint to USDA 19 March 2012  - PDF

March 19, 2012


1081-B St. Rt. 28 #280
Milford, Ohio 45150


Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer 3/19/12
920 Main Campus Drive, Suite 2000
Raleigh, NC 27606

Dr. Goldentyer,

I am contacting you today relevant to Harvard Medical School (14-R-0019). I am appalled at
the number of recent deaths at the New England Primate Research Center (NEPRC), which is
connected to the Harvard Medical School. As I am sure you are aware, there have recently been 4
primate deaths at the NEPRC, and an additional death at the Medical School itself. I am aware that
your office is investigating these deaths. However, at the present time you do not yet have the full

I have been in communication with a whistleblower connected to the NEPRC who has revealed
to me the details of a negligent primate death which occurred at NEPRC several months ago. As far as I have been able to determine from all records currently available, this primate death has net yet been revealed to the USDA.

According to the whistleblower approximately seven months ago a NEPRC employee, Sara, a
veterinary technician, was performing what appeared to be a medical procedure on a primate in
Building 5 at the NEPRC. The procedure involved inserting a tube into the rectum of the primate.
Despite the fact that this was apparently a fairly routine procedure, the primate did not survive. This
can only mean that this procedure was clearly botched and that the negligence which caused this cost the animal his/her life.

Therefore, I am hereby filing an Official Complaint against the Harvard Medical School, and I
must insist that this incident be thoroughly investigated and that it be added to the overall investigation that is currently underway regarding the NEPRC. It is clear that this incident would involve violations of sections 2.32 Unqualified Personnel and 2.33 Inadequate Veterinary Care at a minimum.

And I must insist that when this investigation is completed and the relevant citations of the
Animal Welfare Act have been discerned by your office, I must again insist that Harvard Medical
School be issued the largest fine allowable by law.

I look forward to hearing from you in the near future about the fate of this facility.

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

Rats, mice, birds, amphibians and other animals have been excluded from coverage by the Animal Welfare Act. Therefore research facility reports do not include these animals. As a result of this situation, a blank report, or one with few animals listed, does not mean that a facility has not performed experiments on non-reportable animals. A blank form does mean that the facility in question has not used covered animals (primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, pigs, sheep, goats, etc.). Rats and mice alone are believed to comprise over 90% of the animals used in experimentation. Therefore the majority of animals used at research facilities are not even counted.

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