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IN SICKNESS AND IN DEATH: University under fire for more deaths at its monkey breeding facility

At least 47 monkeys died from the illness over the past eight years. 25 infant pigtailed macaques died from starvation, diarrhea, hypoglycemia, pneumonia and/or failure to nurse.

ROB O’DELL: 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…

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”…

Budkie complaint comes on heels of a complaint filed with USDA and National Institutes of Health’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that said that UW’s oversight committee had not properly disclosed 59 monkey deaths at its facilities in Mesa and Seattle between 2018 and 2021.

The complaint said PETA had looked through nearly 800 necropsy reports (animal autopsies) and to find those incidents that should have been reported by UW’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee but were not.

Those cases included 25 infant pigtailed macaques (13 in Arizona) that had died from “starvation, diarrhea, hypoglycemia, pneumonia and/or failure to nurse,” according to the complaint. Other violations included surgeries or procedures that left foreign objects in monkeys and monkeys being maimed by other monkeys at the facility and losing ears, fingers and toes.

Lisa Jones-Engel, a senior science adviser at PETA, said that UW may have disclosed the dead pregnant female in its report because PETA revealed that the university wasn’t disclosing animal deaths when it should have… At least 47 monkeys died from the illness over the past eight years. SOURCE…


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