Univ. of Wisconsin
Primate Deaths Discovered by USDA
When internal documents
revealed that Dr. Ei Terasawa had left monkeys unattended while
undergoing a ‘push-pull perfusion” experiment on their
brains, and that one of the monkeys had died while researchers were
taking a lunch break, the University of Wisconsin claimed that the
incident was evidence that their system of oversight was working
well. Newly discovered documents call this claim into question.
University oversight committee
meeting minutes reveal that the Terasawa situation was discovered
during an inspection by the United Stated Department of Agriculture
(USDA) rather than the university’s own oversight system.
This revelation undermines any notion that the university is able
to self-monitor itself. If the USDA inspectors had not discovered
the situation, the university would still be defending Terasawa’s
research as humane.
In a related document, a letter
from Dr. Terasawa to the committee, she argues that the monkey
who died was elderly. She argues that the committee is really at
fault since it made a rule that lab personnel cannot eat their lunch
in an animal procedure room. Her letter explains that the monkeys
were experimented on for hours on end and that her assistants needed
The university has lied to the public twice now about this incident..
First they kept the situation hidden, a situation they now refer
to as being the most extreme sanction they have taken against a
senior scientist, and then again, with the claim that the situation
proves that their oversight system is working. There is no reason
to ever believe anything they might say about their animal experimentation
“We feel really sorry for the terror being experienced by
the spin-doctors. Such unequivocal evidence of slip-shod pseudoscientific
cruelty must cause the most callous public information officer some
trauma,” lamented Rick Bogle, organizer of the National Primate
Research Exhibition Hall.
Last year, the university was forced to admit that three marmoset
monkeys were killed after being “overlooked” when their
cage was blasted with boiling-hot disinfectant. University spin-doctors
neglected to mention that such problems have occurred in the past.
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