For some Philadelphia residents, Primate Liberation Week is about giving Penn students an education - and a reality check.
On Saturday, a group of about eight people gathered at the corner of 34th and Walnut streets to protest animal cruelty as the week designated to aiding primates used for scientific research came to a close.
"Basically, we just want to raise awareness," said Philadelphia resident Rachel Ogden. "Not a lot of people know about [primate abuse]."
According to one protestor who declined to give her name, Penn is one of eight labs in the United States that tests on primates.
Ogden said that of these labs, Penn is one of the worst violators of the Animal Welfare Act, which requires that minimum standards of care and treatment be provided for certain animals used in research.
Last year, research watchdog group Stop Animal Exploitation Now called Penn the most frequent violator of federal animal-abuse guidelines in the country, with 77 citations during a nine-month period.
SAEN reported that most of Penn's violations are in three areas: veterinary care; housing, facilities and sanitation; and institutional animal care and use committees.
The AWA leaves a fair amount of room for error, said the protestor. Violators are given 30 days to correct their behavior, and most labs - including Penn - don't end up with citations even if they continue committing the alleged wrong
She added that Penn has failed "to meet even minimal requirements," and that a lot of that research is "not scientifically valid," but that the group was not protesting any one researcher in particular.
One protestor wore a body TV which showed an excerpt from a documentary taken in the investigation of a primate facility in Oregon.
Staff writer Emily Schultheis contributed reporting to this article.
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