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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

Media Coverage

Primate Center Faces Investigation for Deaths
By Maeghan Killeen

From the Daily Cardinal, the student newspaper of the University of Wisconsin, Madison


November, 5 2003

A non-profit organization recently filed a complaint against the University of Wisconsin Primate Research Center, claiming the research performed there is painful and stressful to the primates and that primate deaths are going unreported.

Michael Budkie, executive director of the Cincinnati-based Stop Animal Exploitation Now, said complaints were filed with the United States Department of Agriculture Oct. 24 against UW-Madison and Harvard. He said the complaints are a result of an investigation into progress reports filed by the labs to the National Institute of Health and the USDA.

"They are not reporting a single primate used for painful or stressful experiments, but they are experimenting with stress," Budkie said. "One begins to wonder how gullible they think we are."

Joseph Kemnitz, director of the UW Primate Research Center, said the annual reports they file are accurate but that stress is a very difficult word to define.

"There is certainly no violation of the laws and regulations," Kemnitz said.

SAEN's report claims 29 primates in Wisconsin in 2000 died and endured substantial suffering due to pneumonia and other such diseases. Kemnitz said he didn't know of any cases of those diseases.

"We treat sick animals the same way people are treated," Kemnitz said. "We try very diligently to keep them healthy."

Budkie said he believes the USDA should perform an in-depth investigation of the research center and suspend the research protocols being used until the investigation is complete.

Jim Rogers, of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said the maximum penalty for an Animal Welfare Act violation is $2,750 per unit, per animal, per day. All complaints received are reviewed.

"Anybody can send us any information ... and we'll check it out," Rogers said.

Budkie said UW-Madison students should be concerned and take action as well.

"We would like the students to get involved with this because it's their school," Budkie said.

Kemnitz noted Budkie's filed complaints coincide with National Primate Liberation Week.

"It's an annual event," Kemnitz said. "I think what he's doing is trying to draw attention to his cause."

SAEN's report, "The Primate Experimentation Scandal, 2003" can be viewed at
http://www.all-creatures.org/saen/event-nplw-2003.html .

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