Newsletters - The Defender
Summer 2010 Issue

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

SAEN unveils Primate Abuse at Univ. of Kansas Medical Center -- Federal Complaint Filed

The University of Kansas Medical Center (UKMC) has become known as one of the worst laboratories in the nation for amassing an astounding 57 pages of Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations in USDA inspection reports.

The abuses listed in these damning documents are positively appalling. The life of primate #0A0, who was allowed to suffer terribly, is discussed in these reports:

“. . . He is very feeble, he can’t stand on his legs, he scoots . . . He is doing a lot of grimacing and makes a horrible screeching/chirping noise . . . I know he is scheduled for tomorrow but I am not sure he will make it that long.”

Astonishingly, despite accumulating a horrendous record for AWA violations and being fined over $60,000, just one year later this lab allowed two other primates to suffer fates very similar to #0A0. These newer victims were subjected to experiments involving exposure to both simian aids and withdrawal from addiction to morphine.

Internal records from the UKMC reveal that a rhesus monkey, 3A5, endured terrible pain during early August of 2009: “Patient is screeching very loudly when moving and grimacing a lot. Muscle tremors noted along with laying down in cage . . . . (8PM) – Severe muscle tremors noted to the point that animal could not control his right leg and started to bite it . . .”

Weeks later he is still suffering: “Vomit all over cage and floor in front of cage. . . . Right testicle is enlarged and left testicle is very small. ” On the next day: “his testicles are swollen, enlarged and scrotum has purplish hue. His eyes are sunken, area around eyes are puffy and his pupils are dilated. He appears to be in pain from swollen scrotum. He will only move off of floor of cage with allot of stimulation . . . ” By the 27th of August, he has deteriorated even further: “Monkey is very subdued and curled up on perch – will only move when stimulated a lot. Eyes are shrunken and dilated. Hair coat is spiked. Testicles are swollen, hard, and scrotum has purplish hue. Monkey did eat his biscuits, but it appeared that he vomited overnight.” 3A5 was apparently killed later that day because a necropsy was performed. Unbelievably, the life and death of 3A5 is not unique. Another male rhesus monkey, 84Z, suffered a very similar fate.

On 8/4/2009 primate 84Z is: “. . . screeching a lot, grimacing noted as well. Patient is laying down in the bottom of the cage and will only move when stimulated. Muscle tremors noted. Appetite is decreased – no biscuits eaten, but has eaten fruit . . . Evening obs (8PM) – Patient is down in the bottom of the cage laying on his side. Will move when stimulated, but very reluctant. Screeching is excessive and grimacing noted when ever moving, mild muscle tremors noted.”

His misery continues the next day: “Am observations – patient is very reluctant to move on stimulation. Once he got up, he screeched once and then fell back over. Moderate muscle tremors noted. Appetite is severely decreased, a couple of biscuits eaten and some fruit . . . PM observation-Patient is sitting up on the floor, but reluctant to move, even when squeeze was used. No screeching noted, but muscle tremors are present and significant.”

On the third day his nightmare ends: “. . . Noon – Patient is down in cage and not responding to stimulation. Notify PI and continue supportive care. PI gave one dose of morphine to try and off set withdrawal signs, no progress. Patient is down and only minimally responsive . . . (10PM) – Patient is euthanized per PI protocol.”

Just a few months earlier, this same facility had allowed several primates to die of dehydration and several others to die of gastric bloat, an extremely painful condition.

On May 13th, 2010, SAEN took serious action against UKMC, filing an official complaint with the USDA and demanding punitive action be taken against this recalcitrant lab. SAEN’s complaint generated a major news story in Kansas City, garnering media attention by the Associated Press, Kansas City Star, and Kansas City Business Journal, as well as broadcast media. Then for the National Day of Mourning, local activists coordinated a protest with SAEN’s aid at the UKMC which again was covered by the Kansas City Star, as well as three TV stations, reaching millions of people in the Kansas City area.

Please contact the USDA to demand action against
University of Kansas Medical Center.

Dr. Robert Gibbens, Director
2150 Centre Ave
Building B, Mailstop 3W11
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117

[email protected]
(970) 494-7478

Go on to Next Article
Return to Summer 2010 Issue

We welcome your comments and questions