Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center animal research facility cited by federal agency over injured primates, dead rabbit
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Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer
Director, USDA, Eastern Region
(919) 855-7100
[email protected] 
[email protected]


Please LEVY a MAXIMUM FINE against this repeat violator, Wake Forest University, for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) when their negligence killed a rabbit and injured multiple primates. This repeat offender's behavior must NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.


Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center animal research facility cited by federal agency over injured primates, dead rabbit
By Richad Craver, Winston-Salem Journal, May 10, 2017

A U.S. Agriculture Department report on Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s animal research program, submitted March 15, determined two non-compatible primates injured themselves from fighting after being incorrectly placed in the same cage.

The same citation from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service found that a monkey was injured by other monkeys in an outdoor setting while pens were being cleaned, and that a rabbit was euthanized after it suffered a broken rear leg while being taken from its enclosure.

The routine inspection report was made public Tuesday by Stop Animal Exploitation NOW, or SAEN, a national research watchdog organization.

The July incident involving the monkey fight led to both monkeys receiving serious wounds. Each made a full recovery after several weeks of veterinary care, according to the report.

“Improper pairing of animals can lead to serious injury to animals,” according to the report.

The December incident involving the outdoor enclosure required surgery for the injured monkey, which made a full recovery.

The May 2016 incident involving the rabbit occurred as it resisted being removed from its cage.

The department said each incident was investigated and the center “implemented appropriate corrective actions.”

SAEN submitted a letter to the department April 25 in which it requested the center be fined the maximum $10,000 for each incident.

There was no fine listed in the Agriculture Department’s report.

The center provided a statement Wednesday in which it said the three events “were appropriately self-reported” and that the Wake Forest Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee investigated and “immediately implemented appropriate resolution plans to prevent similar incidents in the future.”

The center said the department’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare “fully accepted” the corrective actions taken by the center.

For example, with the outdoors incident, the center said “to prevent similar incidents in the future, the practice to have the doors to two pens open at the same time has been changed.”

“Animal studies are a vital part of research that advances both human and animal health,” the center said. “The medical center takes animal welfare very seriously and is committed to the humane and responsible care of animals used in research. The loss of, or injury to, any animal is regrettable and genuinely impacts our animal research program staff.”

In May 2016, the department issued four citations against the center during a routine inspection conducted in April 2016.

In December 2012, Wake Forest Baptist was fined $35,464 by the department for violations of the Animal Welfare Act in connection with the center’s animal research procedures. The center paid the fine.

One of those events was the escape of a female monkey from a research center near Clemmons in late June 2012. The monkey roamed parts of southern Forsyth and northern Davidson counties for 11 days. It was recovered unharmed.

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