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Monday, January 11, 2010

Monkey starves to death at University of Washington research facility

Monkey starves to death at UW research facility


SEATTLE - "The University of Washington's National Primate Research Center is under scrutiny after it admits to allowing a monkey to starve to death.
A 3 1/2-year-old pigtailed macaque was found dead inside of its cage back in April. The likely cause of death was starvation.
The monkey had lost 25 percent of its body weight, and they typically only weigh between 12 and 24 pounds.
"As with any activity that's based on human behavior, occasionally mistakes will occur," said David Anderson, Director, National Primate Research Center.
Anderson says the monkey was housed at the research center with 15 other macaques. It appeared to have a healthy coat and was social with the others."

"This is not the first time UW's program has been under a microscope.  There have been other incidents, including five baboons that died of thirst in 1995 at a breeding center near Spokane."

The animal was not part of a project. It was on standby for research for AIDS vaccines and neuro-science projects.


Supposedly. every year the United States Department of Agriculture / Animal & Plant Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS) publishes a document titled the Animal Welfare Enforcement Report (AWER). 
which any member of the public can obtain. However, I was only able to find the 2007 report online at:  

You need a program which can read pdf files to read the report mentioned above (such as Adobe Acrobat reader ,which you can download for free at:

I find the 2007 report troubling for a number of reasons. Firstly over 600,000 of the million animals used in research in the United States in 2007 were forced to experience pain and distress, and these "scientists" allowed over 78,000 of these animals to get no relief whatsoever from their pain. I wonder if these scientists would like to volunteer themselves for experiments in which they were going to experience pain in which they could not get no pain relief whatsoever?  How many of these experiments were really necessary and how many of these experiments were redundant? And if these experiments relate to human activity and behavior,then why are we using these animals instead of human subjects during this experimentation?

It is the Animal and Health Inspection service (which is a part of the United States Department of Agriculture), which goes out and checks on research facilities to see that they are abiding by laws regarding the treatment of animals used in scientific experiments. The service indicates that it imposed animal welfare-related
penalties totaling more than $614,000 ,and that 100 more cases were penalized from 2007-2009,which suggests a disturbing trend: abuse against laboratory animals is on the increase. Why is this abuse occurring and what happened to the use of computer models and simulations instead of using living animals during scientific testing? Why was this monkey allowed to starve to death? Excuses shouldn't be acceptable.
The first and most important limitation of these numbers is that they ignore the majority of animals used in experimentation.  Rats, mice, and many other species (i.e. all non-mammals) are not required to be reported in the Animal Welfare Enforcement Report Rodents and the other unreported species are estimated to make up 85 - 95% of all animals used in experimentation.  Therefore, the total of all animals experimented on could exceed 20,000,000, but we really don't know an exact total. (source: 

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.