Harvard Monkeys Die – Minimal Fine For Cruelty

    December 18, 2013
    Tina Volpe
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Tens of thousands of deaths of primates and other animals occur each year due to animal testing, also known as vivisection.

After the death of four primates that included two cotton-top tamarins, a critically endangered primate species, Harvard was issued a fine due to animal cruelty by federal regulators. Others of various species were also subjected to inhumane cruelty, including Macaque monkeys.

The fine was a meager $24,000. A small fine for the immense infractions and suffering the animal testing facility has caused.

Most of the cruelty occurred at Harvard’s New England Primate Research Center in Southborough, however, Harvard announced in April that it intends to largely shut the center down by 2015.

Federal regulators have fined Harvard Medical School $24,036 for repeated animal welfare violations in its care of monkeys used in research, an unusual penalty for an academic institution.

Several of the violations at Harvard, including a number of the animal deaths, appeared to involve incomplete training or inexperienced oversight by its staff.

In one December 2011 incident, employees failed to notice that a watering device malfunctioned and two primates became dehydrated at the Southborough primate center. One had to be euthanized.

Two months later, another primate at the center became dehydrated when employees failed to give it a water bottle. That animal had to be euthanized, too.

Other incidents included leaving a cotton-top tamarin in the cage while power washing it with chemicals. From Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM): In June 2010, a cotton-top tamarin at the New England Primate Research Center was sent through a cage washer and found dead in the cage after the cycle.

“How could someone not notice a monkey in a cage before loading the cage into a washer?” says John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., the PCRM physician and Harvard graduate who submitted the petition. “Harvard administrators claim that the primate facility has improved standards, but monkeys continue to suffer in captivity and die painful deaths. We believe there is a serious ongoing risk for tamarins and all primates at the laboratory.”

Harvard has already been investigated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for several violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

Harvard responded stating it “cares deeply about upholding exemplary standards of care” and feels the penalty was appropriate.

“For an institution that receives $185 million annually in taxpayer funds alone, half of which is spent on animal experiments, a $24,000 fine for years of abusing and neglecting monkeys won’t motivate Harvard to do better by animals,” Justin Goodman, a spokesman for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, wrote in an e-mail. “Thankfully, the school already recognizes that tormenting monkeys is not the future of science and made the laudable decision to completely shut down its nightmarish primate center by 2015, meaning that thousands of animals will be spared this same horrible fate.”

Image via Wikimedia Commons

  • Linda Smith

    The very first picture I saw of the “monkey” spread eagled on that horrible contraption was more than enough for me to see. It was gross and a form of terrible cruelty to a monkey (or any other living creature). It was sickening. How can they be allowed to continue such practice? I am now crying for the poor things who did not have a proper life. Horrible cruelty. The fine was not enough.

  • April

    This is disgusting. What is the scientific reason to treat any living thing that way, taped to a device like that or to die from dehydration? Everyone thinks that Harvard means prestige, pride and power. If I was a student or employee there, I would be truly embarrassed to say so. I can’t believe that the government is allowing this to continue, but then again they probably are being “paid off” to give lenience. I now understand why PETA and other animal rights activists do what they do.

  • Jacquelyn

    It brought tears to my eyes to see that monkey in that torture chamber. Harvard not only needs to be fined a whole lot more, but I think jail time would be a great idea for whoever is responsible for these atrocities. Shame on them!!

  • http://www.webpronews.com lori

    What was done to these animmals is so cruel and inhumane. The people who did this need sever punishment and to be suspended from harvard. I dont know how thy can live with themselves after harming a poor defencless inocent animal shame on you!

  • Barb

    It seems that being Ivy League has absolutely nothing to do with being humane and kind. What a disgrace that a school like Harvard, so touted for producing many of this country’s leaders, would have so little regard towards other species that we share the Earth with.
    I urge all parents of college-age kids to re-consider whether a degree from Harvard is worth more than a piece of toilet paper to wipe your ass with. In my opinion, it is NOT.

    A fine of $24,000?????? Give me a break—–that is like the coffee fund to an institution with a budget like Harvard has. It will not even be noticed.

    And Harvard will continue its horrible exploitation of innocent creatures.


  • michelle

    And where were PETA and the ASPCA during all of this???? Oh I forgot they have legitimate animal rescues they are busy closing down. This is the most cruel thing I have ever seen! I guess money talks and allows you to do whatever you want. Shame on Harvard!!!

  • Michele

    I am appalled.

  • Michele

    I am appalled.

  • Belinda Lombardo

    $185 Million of Taxpayer Funds goes to Harvard Research…half of which is utilized for vivisection aka “animal torture”. There is no experiment that should justify this type of inhumane, and sadistic treatment. This far exceeds punishment by a meager fine of $24k,and I agree that jail time should be part of this equation for the prestigous Harvard Research Team that performed and oversaw these horrendous acts. And to think that this is what “we know of”… It’s heart breaking.