Animal activist alleges another incident at primate center

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Please contact Elizabeth Goldentyer to demand that Harvard Medical School receive the largest fine possible under the Animal Welfare Act for the negligence which killed a monkey during a medical procedure.

This is the fifth time in just over one and a half years that negligence at the New England Primate Research Center has killed a primate.
So far the USDA has issued only an Official Warning against Harvard's Medical School. Clearly USDA inaction has contributed to the continuing deaths at this facility.

Please insist that the USDA issue a fine, and let Dr. Goldentyer know that you hold her personally responsible for the USDA's inaction, and the deaths of these animals. She MUST take action now!

Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer
920 Main Campus Drive, Suite 2000
Raleigh, NC 27606
(919) 855-7100
[email protected]

Animal activist alleges another incident at primate center

By Carolyn Y. Johnson, Boston Globe, Wednesday, March 21, 2012

An animal activist has alleged that seven months ago, a primate death occurred at the New England Primate Research Center that should have been reported to federal regulators. Harvard Medical School, which operates the facility, responded to the complaint with the explanation that there was a death at the center in August, but that the animal received appropriate care for a complication that was a known risk of an approved surgical procedure.

In a letter sent to the US Department of Agriculture on Tuesday, Michael Budkie, executive director of Stop Animal Exploitation Now!, cites a whistleblower’s account of a primate death during a medical procedure.

In a statement, Harvard Medical School said the care of the animal was handled correctly.

“Our review indicates that the animal recieved approrpiate veterinary care and post-operative checks, and it was observed to be recovering normally from the procedure,” the statement said. “Regrettably, there are risks associated with surgical procedures, and this death resulted from a known complication. It was not required that an incident of this type be reported to the federal government.”

The primate center has been under increased scrutiny by regulators and activists after four monkey deaths in less than two years. A review of the operations, management, and procedures of the animal research facility had exposed gaps in oversight and basic systems used to ensure the welfare of animals, and now a new panel of outside experts is beginning another evaluation.

David Sacks, a spokesman for the Agriculture Department, said that, following standard procedure when such a complaint is made, an inspector will examine the allegations.

“Our inspections are always unannounced, so I do not know the exact date this inspection will take place, but suffice it to say that because of the recent incidents at Harvard’s primate research center, it will be soon, as we will continue to closely monitor this facility by visiting more frequently as a way to monitor Harvard’s progress and ensure the welfare of the animals there,” Sacks wrote in an e-mail.

Carolyn Y. Johnson can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @carolynyjohnson.

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