Both Harvard and Princeton have recently come under fire for their treatment of monkeys in research facilities.
Harvard’s New England Primate Medical Research Center, run by the university’s medical school, has experienced additional criticism following accusations that a dozen monkeys were found dead in their cages between 1999 and 2011. The center is set to close at the end of May, but it was already being scrutinized heavily for deaths of monkeys between 2010 and 2012. All 12 of the monkeys were dehydrated when they died. The monkey cages had a number of issues, including malfunctioning or nonexistent water lines, according to a Harvard Crimson article.
Dr. Frederick C. Wang, who served as interim director of the research center between the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, told the Crimson he thought that “inadequate animal care” played a large role in the deaths of the monkeys.
The newly revealed information is not the first of its kind about care-related deaths at the research center. In December of 2013, Harvard Medical School was fined $24,036 for violations that related to the death of four primates at the center.
Meanwhile, last week, an animal rights activist group filed a complaint against Princeton with the United States Department of Agriculture for violating the Animal Welfare Act. In March of 2014, two marmoset monkeys escaped from their cages in a university laboratory. One of the monkeys fought with a male from another cage, causing both to sustain injuries. Princeton has hired an outside firm to determine how the monkeys escaped from their cages, while a veterinary medical officer with the Department of Agriculture will also review the incident during an inspection.
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