Freak washing machine accident boils lab monkey alive

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Please Contact Lamberto Andreotti to protest the horrific death of a macaque monkey in a cage washer.


Lamberto Andreotti
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Corporate Headquarters
345 Park Avenue
New York, New York


Please contact Elizabeth Goldentyre to demand that Bristol Myers Squibb receive the largest fine possible under the Animal Welfare Act for the negligence which boiled a monkey alive in a cage washer.
Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer
920 Main Campus Drive, Suite 2000
Raleigh, NC 27606

[email protected]

Freak washing machine accident boils lab monkey alive

By Dan Doldberg, Te Star-Ledger, Wednesday, January 18, 2012

PENNINGTON — They forgot to take the monkey out of the cage.

Bristol-Myers Squibb accidentally killed a crab-eating macaque this past summer when its cage was run through the wash cycle while the primate remained locked inside, according to an inspection report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A spokeswoman for Bristol-Myers confirmed the accident but did not know how it occurred or the monkey’s gender.

The monkey died on July 1 at Bristol-Myers’ lab in Pennington, the inspection report said. The dirty cage was moved to the wash room for sanitizing and submerged in near-boiling water. When the cage was lifted from the wash, a Bristol-Myers employee discovered the dead monkey on the floor, the report said.

"It was an unfortunate event," said Jennifer Fron-Mauer, spokeswoman for Bristol-Myers. "We reported this to the USDA and immediately began an internal investigation."

Fron-Mauer would not comment on the results of the investigation or what kind of disciplinary action was taken. The watchdog group, SAEN (Stop Animal Exploitation Now), filed a complaint with the USDA demanding additional citations and punitive action, including a fine.

"Horrible acts of negligence like this, which literally boiled a monkey alive, must be severely penalized," said Michael Budkie, executive director at SAEN.

Bristol-Myers uses primates to test pharmaceuticals, a practice that has been repeatedly denounced by animal rights activists.

"Our company takes great care that the strict policies and procedures regarding the safe handling of our animals — which are designed to prevent these types of incidents from occurring--take place at all of our facilities," Fron-Mauer said. "When those policies and procedures are not followed, disciplinary action is taken."

A similar incident in Pennsylvania happened the very next day, according to a separate USDA incident report.

Princeton-based Covance Research Products, one of the world’s largest drug development services companies, accidentally boiled a rabbit during a cage wash. They, too, performed an internal investigation and instituted multiple changes to ensure it would not happen again, the report stated.

The USDA has jurisdiction because it enforces the 1966 Animal Welfare Act. It is the only federal law that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport and by dealers, according to the department’s website.

Though clearly an accident, Budkie said, the negligence has broader implications. If technicians can be so careless as to leave a monkey in a cage, then what other mistakes might they be making while testing new drugs.

"I don’t want to be basing my life on the drugs that were tested in this laboratory," he said.

See also Bristol Myers Squibb Company, Princeton, NJ

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