Retired lab chimps-sanctuary havens or torturous research labs?

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Please call or email  Dr. Francis Collins to insist that the 100 chimps scheduled to be retired from the New Iberia Research Center NOT be sent to the Texas Biomedical Research Institute.

Instead these chimpanzees MUST be retired to a primate sanctuary.

Dr. Francis Collins
[email protected]

Retired lab chimps-sanctuary havens or torturous research labs?

By Nancy Houser,, Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The U.S. National Institute of Health had announced the retirement of 110 lab chimps, previously used for bio-medical research. NIH was planning on sending them to a Texas lab or a chimp sanctuary in Louisiana. An obvious choice for most animal activists.

Upon receiving a personal news release and several URLs from Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, SAEN, and reading a report from KXXV, it was discovered that "100 biomedical research chimpanzees slated for retirement aren't being sent to a chimpanzee sanctuary like federal statutes require."

Officials at Chimp Haven said Monday 10 of the 110 retiring chimpanzees at the New Iberia Research Center in Lafayette will be sent to the sanctuary in Keithville. The other 100 will be transferred to a research laboratory in Texas.

Long Record of Primate Fatalities

SAEN (Stop Animal Exploitation Now) reports that the proposed Texas laboratory for the 100 lab chimpanzees has a long record of primate fatalities, escapes and federal fines. The Texas Biomedical Research Institute (TBRI), the proposed destination for the retirement of 100 chimpanzees from the New Iberia Research Center (NIRC), may have a worse record for primate care than the NIRC.

The email from SAEN stated that federal reports reveal that TBRI paid a $25,714 USDA fine earlier this year for multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act connected to one primate death and two primate escapes. According to earlier government reports, other primates at this facility have died of dehydration as a result of malfunctioning watering systems, or simply been found dead.

Obviously, the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in San Antonio, Texas, has been written up for primate abuse on more than one occasion. Psychological torture? Physical abuse? Beyond the pictures.

To put it quite bluntly, the retired lab chimps are being transferred from one abusive science lab to another, instead of being retired in a peaceful sanctuary as federal laws state should happen.

To support SAEN on lab abuse for primates, we found that PETA has further data on the Columbia University abusive research labs:

In laboratories, baboons used as "research tools" are denied all that is natural to them. Crammed into barren metal cages, they suffer unbearable loneliness. Mother baboons, who fuss over and care attentively for their young in the wild, have their babies taken away from them. Trapped in their tiny prisons, they are usually deprived of the ability to take more than a few steps in any direction, let alone roam over long stretches of land as they would in the wild.

Experimenters at Columbia University caused strokes in baboons by removing their left eyeballs and using the empty eye sockets to clamp critical blood vessels leading to their brains. They also pumped nicotine and morphine into pregnant baboons and their fetuses.

See Press Release, August 15, 2012 - Watchdog Group Names U.S. '10 Most Criminal' Research Facilities; Animal Labs Break Federal Law 16 Times Every Week

Emails from SAEN Executive Director

In one of the URLs sent by Michael Budkie, North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA) has revealed, "This decision about the chimpanzees’ future appears to have been made behind the back of the Council of Councils Working Group on the Use of Chimpanzees in NIH-Supported Research, which is currently tasked with determining the best placement for the government’s chimpanzees."

USDA Inspection Report on TBRI --- a male baboon was presented for necropsy and tissue collection on August 28, 2006. The animal had been sedated and then injected with euthanasia solution prior to necropsy, however the animal was actually in a deep state of anesthesia and not deceased at the time at the time the necropsy began. The pathologist detected a faint femoral pulse approximately 10 minutes after the necropsy and tissue harvest was started. Failure to determine the death of an animal prior to necropsy is a significant program deficiency.....

What makes the above act so heinous is that necropsy is a postmortem examination for non-humans, similar to postmortem or an autopsy in human bodies. Regardless of the source, the purpose is to provide vital information in a variety of ways ---- providing the animal or human is deceased and not alive.

What the Texas lab failed to do was adequately perform the examination when initially inspecting the body's exterior, or they would have easily discovered the chimp was very much alive. Once it was labeled as deceased, blood draws and tissue samples were collected. Following the examination, the chimp's body was opened up to inspect the internal organs --- while it was still alive --- yet in such a deep state it could not awake.

The email from Michael Budkie enclosed a statement he had sent to NIH Director Francis Collins,“I fear that you may have dumped the chimps out of the frying pan and into the fire by sending them to the Texas facility. The record of care at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute is no better than that at the New Iberia Facility of ULL. It would be preferable to choose a location, such as a sanctuary, that is at least capable of discerning if the primates in their care are alive or dead.”

lab vivisection violation

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