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Press Releases

National Research Watchdog Organization Accuses UC Davis of 'Fraud' Over Federal Primate Center Reporting Inconsistency

Thursday, June 16, 2005
Contact: Michael Budkie 513-575-5517

Attention: News Desk

DAVIS, Ca. - A national research watchdog organization has uncovered a huge reporting error in internal University of California, Davis government documents and charged today the findings suggest UCD may be engaging in "fraud."

"It appears that UC Davis officials are playing fast and loose with reporting requirements," said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., and Executive Director of SAEN, a Cincinnati-based not-for-profit organization.

"Reporting one number for primate populations to the USDA and an entirely different number to the NIH (National Institutes of Health) smacks of fraud," added Budkie, who has spent months combing over documents UCD has filed with government regulatory agencies. SAEN obtained documents under state and federal freedom-of-information requests.

Budkie said that, for fiscal year 2002, UC Davis reported using 6,837 primates, including 4,623 for breeding programs and 2,214 for actual experiments. However, reports for parallel periods that were filed with the NIH (the funding agency for the California Primate Research Center) discuss breeding colonies of about 2,000 primates.

"This discrepancy is very disturbing since the officials at Davis have been screaming about a shortage of primates for experimentation," added Budkie. "Why should they be given more animals - at a tremendous cost to taxpayers - when they cannot even accurately count the ones they already have?"

According to government documents obtained by SAEN, funding for the Primate Center rose from $61 million in the 2001-2002 reporting year to $81 million in 2002- 2003, an increase of 33 percent.

In August of last year, SAEN filed an official complaint with federal oversight agencies after seven primates were killed because of staff negligence, and after documents filed by UCD suggested they were not using required pain killers in certain experiments as required by law.



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