“On August 23, 2016 two non-compatible non-human primates (NHP) were injured after staff failed to secure and lock a divider door that separated them,” the USDA said in the report. “According to the facility incident report the NHPs (adult male macaques) opened the divider and were found injured when staff returned to the room approximately 20 minutes after shifting animals. Both NHPs received prompt veterinary treatment. One was treated for minor wounds and has since recovered. The second had a significant injury and was promptly euthanized. The staff member involved in the incident has been re-trained. The facility self-reported the incident to officials.”

Watchdog groups across the nation took notice and filed official complaints to the USDA, pushing for an open investigation of the lab. The Center For Ethical Science (CFES) based out of Chicago filed a letter to Dr. Robert Gibbens, director of the Western region of the USDA and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), urging that UC Davis receive the maximum fine of $10,000 per non-compliance.

“[The Primate Center] has violation after violation after violation; it is a criminal lab,” said Jodie Wiederkehr, executive director of CFES. “Pet stores with these same practices would likely be shut down, but when it comes to labs they are fined, then continue to harm and kill animals and the public never really knows. […] Research is important to me, however, animal research is not effective.”


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