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Monkey farm under fire for more primate deaths at its Mesa facility

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Dr. Robert Gibbens Director, Western Region, USDA
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Dr. Gibbens,

Please LEVY a MAXIMUM FINE against University of Washington, Seattle, for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) when their negligence allowed two monkeys to die unnecessarily Their behavior must NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

 

Monkey farm under fire for more primate deaths at its Mesa facility

From Rob O'Dell, AZCenral.com, August 17, 2022

The University of Washington is under fire by animal rights groups for more monkey deaths at its breeding facility in Mesa, nearly a year after The Arizona Republic revealed higher than expected rates of monkey sickness and death at the site.

The monkey farm was the subject of a complaint by Stop Animal Exploitation Now after the University of Washington's committee that oversees animal care said a pregnant female pigtailed macaque and her baby were found dead at the facility located along the Salt River canal north of Thomas Road.

The university's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee June report said the pregnant female died overnight after its placenta ruptured while in labor. Michael Budkie, co-founder of Stop Animal Exploitation Now, said the pregnant macaque should have been more closely monitored.

"This monkey died because there were complications from birth and there was no one around to do anything about it," Budkie said.

He filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is one of two agencies that oversees animals in laboratory tests. Budkie said the circumstances are similar to a case in Texas where the USDA fined a facility for an animal death.

"The USDA needs to take action," otherwise animals will continue to be mistreated, Budkie said. "The University of Washington allowed the monkey to die in a way that violated federal regulations and the University of Washington should be prosecuted for it.

Tina Mankowski, spokeswoman for the University of Washington, said the monkey died of placenta previa, a condition where the placenta covers up all or a portion of mother's uterus.

"Placenta previa resulted in the tragic death of a pregnant animal and her unborn infant," Mankowski said. "This is a devastating condition in both animals and humans and the animal was being monitored appropriately in accordance with facility standard operating procedures and all federal regulations."

The Republic's seven-month investigation published in 2021 found that Valley fever, a common flu-like illness caused by a fungus from the soil in the desert around Phoenix, has run rampant among the macaque colony, resulting in higher than expected rates of sickness and death.
At least 47 monkeys died from the illness over the past eight years.

The illness at the Arizona facility also threatens the results of tens of millions of dollars in research aimed at finding cures and vaccines for some of humankindís most serious viruses and diseases: AIDS, HIV, hepatitis, Zika, Ebola and even COVID-19, and it has raised concerns about whether the Arizona site is the right location for the largest pigtailed macaque breeding facility in the United States.

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