Friday, July 15, 2016

Contact:  Jodie Wiederkehr, Center For Ethical Science (CFES), 773-726-0589,


Violated Federal Law Charges Research Watchdog

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO – Due to gross negligence at the University of Puerto Rico, a rhesus macaque monkey has never had any veterinary care despite the fact that he was born with a serious eye condition.  The school violated federal Animal Welfare Laws in the process, charged a research watchdog group today.

According to a June 23, 2016 U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection report, "Primate 8QS was observed to have an opacity in the right eye.  The vet techs indicated that he was born with large eyes and has been this way since birth.  This condition, however, was never reported to the attending veterinarian for examination and has never received any veterinary care.  The veterinarian is the person who is qualified to assess the animal's health and well-being, and is the one who would determine if an animal is suffering, or is experiencing pain and/or distress.  He is also the one who would decide whether treatment or euthanasia is appropriate."

In a letter to Dr. Betty Goldentyer, Director of the Eastern Region of the USDA/APHIS (Animal and Plant Inspection Services) office in Raleigh, NC, Jodie Wiederkehr, Executive Director of the Center For Ethical Science (CFES), charged "The University of Puerto Rico failed to ensure the well-being of the animals in their care and this carelessness is disturbing,".  CFES is urging the USDA to launch a full investigation into this incident and levy the largest fine allowable against University of Puerto Rico of at least $10,000 per non-compliance. 

"One can only imagine how long this animal, who is so like us, has suffered so far.  The University of Puerto Rico should be held accountable for their incompetence," Wiederkehr stated.

All federal reports are available upon request.