Report: Seven baby monkeys died at UCD research center
Media Coverage About SAEN Stop Animal Exploitation Now

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Dr. Robert Gibbens Director, Western Region, USDA
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Please LEVY a MAXIMUM FINE against University of California, Davis, for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) when their negligence killed seven infant primates. Their behavior must NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

 

Report: Seven baby monkeys died at UCD research center
From Caleb Hampton, DavisEnterprise.com, June 18, 2019

According to documents obtained this week by the Guardian, seven baby monkeys at the UC Davis primate research center died in April 2018. The infant monkeys were accidentally poisoned by a dye used to mark their mothers, documents stated. When the mothers were reunited with the infant macaques, the babies came into contact with the dye, which turned out to be toxic to them. The youngest of the seven monkeys to die was just a day old.

The documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, state that emergency treatment on two of the infants, who were found with “generalized weakness and respiratory distress,” was unsuccessful. The other five monkeys were found dead. All seven of the monkeys had dye on their fur, skin, mouth or tongue.

UC Davis reported the deaths to federal authorities last year. With about 4,200 primates, the primate research center at UC Davis is one of the largest in the country. The monkeys are used for research into HIV/Aids, Alzheimer’s disease, Zika virus and other diseases.

The recently disclosed deaths are not the first incident to attract controversy to the primate center. In 2016, UC Davis was investigated for mistreatment of primates at the center after a monkey fractured two legs attempting to escape from the facility. In 2005, seven monkeys died at once, most likely from heat exposure.

The primate center has frequently been targeted by animal rights activists. In January 2019, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), sued UC Davis for footage of the monkey’s enclosures, which the animal rights organization call a “den of horrors.”

In response to the recent incident, the Office of Laboratory and Animal Welfare told UCD that monkeys younger than six months old should not be marked with dye or exposed to it.

John Gluck, a former primate researcher, told the Guardian that based on the information available, the seven recent deaths were a result of negligence by the university.

Some groups have gone a step further. Stop Animal Exploitation NOW (SAEN), a non-governmental watchdog that monitors research facilities for animal abuse, alleged that UC Davis has engaged in a cover-up. SAEN has accused the university of trying to pass the deaths off as an allergic reaction, suggesting that two of the monkeys may have had unrelated infections and died due to inadequate veterinary care. The group filed a USDA Complaint, requesting that UC Davis be fined $10,000 per animal, the maximum federal penalty.

“We strive to take the best possible care of animals in our charge,” a UC Davis spokesman told the Guardian. He added that after the deaths, UC Davis stopped dye-marking monkeys under 6 months old and made other procedural changes to minimize dye transfer between monkeys.

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