SRI accused of drowning monkey
Media Coverage About SAEN Stop Animal Exploitation Now



Dr. Robert Gibbens
Director, Animal Welfare Operations, USDA-APHIS
[email protected] 
[email protected]

Please levy the MAXIMUM FINE against SRI International for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act when their negligence caused a monkey to drown in toxic chemicals and broke a dog's foot. Their behavior should NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.


SRI accused of drowning monkey

From, May 25, 2021

An animal rights group alleges that SRI International employees broke a dog’s paw and drowned a monkey, and then lied about the experiments to federal regulators.

The watchdog group, called Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN), is a nonprofit that tries to stop animal experimentation, regularly reporting research laboratories, such as SRI, to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

SRI did not respond to the Post’s request to respond to the allegations.

On Sept. 29, a female monkey had a feeding tube inserted through its nose and was given a dose of something for a toxicology study, according to an SRI report included in the complaint. After giving the monkey the dose, it began foaming at the mouth and turned blue. Veterinarians at SRI found a lot of the test fluid in the monkey’s lungs and could not save it, according to the report.


“How do you claim that a monkey who essentially drowned in toxic chemicals didn’t feel any pain?” SAEN’s Executive Director Michael Budkie said.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, animals used in experiments are not supposed to experience “unrelieved pain.” SRI in its 2020 filings with the USDA says that no animals suffered. Budkie says SRI “botched” the monkey incident.

In the report from SRI, employees were given refresher training a few weeks later to make sure such tubes are placed correctly. The facility’s clinical veterinarian has also found a company that makes CO2 meters that can be attached to the tubes to alert the employee if the tube is in the lung, rather than the stomach.

Experiments on dogs and rabbits too

“SRI’s 2020 annual report lists no animals as experiencing unrelieved pain, despite the fact that separate reports document that dogs, monkeys and rabbits were all used in federally funded toxicology projects,” a statement from SAEN says.

Because SAEN found out about the monkey procedure, it suspects other animals are experiencing pain during these toxicology tests.

According to SRI’s 2020 report to the USDA, there are 43 dogs, 60 guinea pigs, 32 hamsters, 96 rabbits and 55 primates used for research at the lab.

The dog incident occurred on March 23, records show. A dog being used in a toxicology study for the National Institutes of Health was found with its toe stuck in the floor slats of the “dog run,” according to a report from SRI to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare with NIH.

The incident occurred about an hour after the dog had received a “dose” of the drug being tested on it, according to the report from SRI Chief Legal Officer John McIntire. The dog was seen by a vet and treated.

SRI has since put rubber floor mats in all of the dog runs to keep this from happening again. It is also looking into changing the floors for the dog runs.

Group claims employee negligence

But Budkie points to these two incidents as employee negligence at SRI and calls for the USDA to investigate SRI and fine them $10,000 per infraction.

This isn’t the first time there has been trouble with monkeys at SRI. In 2010, a monkey bit a worker at the lab, causing her to pass out and be taken to the hospital. The research lab turned away a representative with the Humane Society, who was there to check on the monkey.

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