Report from animal group says ASU is mistreating monkeys at their Biodesign Institute
Media Coverage About SAEN Stop Animal Exploitation Now



Dr. Robert Gibbens
Director, Western Region, USDA
(970) 494-7478
[email protected] 
[email protected]

Please levy the MAXIMUM FINE against Arizona State University for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act when their negligence denied monkeys water, and allowed one to become injured so severely that surgery was necessary. Their behavior should NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.


Report from animal group says ASU is mistreating monkeys at their Biodesign Institute

From Laura Lollman and Briana Whitney,, March 4, 2021

TEMPE, AZ (3tv/CBS 5) -- a newly released report from Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) says monkeys at ASU's Biodesign institute have been mistreated.

According to the report, in November of 2020, two monkeys that were on fluid restriction had not been weighed at the correct intervals. The documents show the issued happened after lab staff was reduced due to covid-19. The report also alleges two other cases of neglect in 2017.

The first was in March of 2017 where on two separate occasions, a monkey was placed on water restriction although the procedure was not included in the approved protocols.

The second was in November of 2017.

"Two monkeys had escaped, and they fought each other and it caused injuries so bad that they had to do surgery on them," said Stacey Ellison, a research associate at SAEN.

SAEN claims one monkey was injured so badly they had to amputate part of the animal's finger. The report says that staff failed to lock the cages.

The report also includes memos allegedly from ASU staff acknowledging water restrictions and missed weigh-ins for the monkeys. ASU reported noncompliance of protocols on at least two occasions and the corrective action it took.

"It's frustrating when they do these things and harm animals and cause injuries," said Ellison.

SAEN says it's a pattern that demands change.

"One of the things happened four years ago but there's been things happening since," said Ellison.

SAEN says the experiments violated federal laws. The group wants the maximum penalty against ASU, which is a $10,000 fine per infraction per animal. It would be up to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to find any wrong doing and issue the fines.

All the documents show ASU took corrective action after the mistakes were made but SAEN researchers say these incidents shouldn't have happened at all.

The school pointed to its Animal Care and Use Program homepage for background on the research. Officials said most of the accusations are "old news from years back." The university said the memos "appear to be the type we release regularly to animal rights groups who ask for them. The documents demonstrate that we take the ethical, humane and responsible treatment of animals seriously, and report and correct any anomalies."

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