Monkey's death raises ire of animal group

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By Don Finley - Express-News

A rhesus monkey that escaped a heated enclosure at Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in freezing temperatures in November prompted an admonition from federal inspectors and outrage Tuesday from an animal rights group. The young monkey was found the next morning suffering from hypothermia and was euthanized. Foundation officials, who had reported the incident to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said the animal had been put in a heated cage the previous night because of freezing temperatures.

A second monkey apparently reached a cable allowing it to open the gate from the heated cage to an open enclosure. Following a Feb. 28 inspection, the USDA — which oversees animal laboratory facilities — ordered new locking mechanisms. All but three have been upgraded, with the rest due by the end of the month, a foundation spokesman said.

“The proper care of animals in our facility is our ethical responsibility as well as essential to the research we conduct,” said Kenneth Trevett, president of the foundation, in a written statement. “We take this obligation very seriously.”

“Negligence at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research has unnecessarily taken the life of a young primate,” said Michael Budkie, executive director of the Ohio-based group Stop Animal Exploitation Now, which drew attention to the violation in a press release.

See Also:
21 Apr 2010 - Young Primate Freezes to Death at Southwest Foundation; USDA Issues Citations
Monkey's Death at Southwest Foundation Alarms Animal Activists - 21 Apr 2010
SW Foundation for Biomedical Research, San Antonio, TX

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