From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1995:

STERLING FOREST, New York––One would think New York University

wouldn’t want to fight with Jan Moor-Jankowski. As a youth, he fought the Nazis in occu-

pied Poland. As a researcher, he’s battled disease for 30 years at his Laboratory for

Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates (LEMSIP), widely considered the world’s

most advanced in primate care––and the most accessible to people who care about primates.

As a humanitarian, he was among the first researchers to adopt the principles of “reduction,

refinement, and replacement” as his laboratory policy toward animals. As editor of the pres-

tigious International Journal of Primatology, Moor-Jankowski from 1983 until 1991 battled

a libel suit filed by the Austrian pharmaceutical firm Immuno AG, in response to a letter-to-

the-editor authored by Shirley McGreal of the International Primate Protection League.

Paying expenses largely from his own pocket, Moor-Jankowski won landmark victories for

press freedom in the Supreme Court and New York Court of Appeals.

Yet despite Moor-Jankowski’s for-

midable reputation, NYU has moved to dis-

mantle LEMSIP in apparent retaliation for his

criticism of drug addiction experiments con

ducted by fellow NYU primate researcher

Ronald Wood. Moor-Jankowski in turn has

delayed his scheduled retirement for at least a

year to fight for the lives of the 225 chim-

panzees in LEMSIP custody.

Smouldering for months, the con-

flict erupted on August 16, 1994, when

Moor-Jankowski resigned from the

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

that oversees Wood’s work, in protest of what

he terms “highly reprehensible” conduct that

“must be stopped.” Moor-Jankowski isn’t

allowed to discuss details, under IACUC rules

of confidentiality, but according to the fal

1994 edition of the American SPCA magazine

Animal Watch, “NYU sources claim Wood’s

studies involve extreme negligence and animal

cruelty, and have prompted temporary sus-

pension of Wood’s experiments last spring,

the resignation of former NYU head veterinar-

ian Dr. Wendell Niemann, the firing of sever-

al people with direct knowledge of wrongdo-

ing possibly because of their ‘whistleblower’

status, and two federal investigations.”

Weeks later, Moor-Jankowski

recalls, “I was shocked to learn that NYU

intended to dispose of LEMSIP,” which he

founded in 1965 and had run under NYU aus-

pices since 1967. On August 23, 1994, NYU

had without Moor-Jankowski’s knowledge

informed the USDA, which enforces the

Animal Welfare Act, that LEMSIP was no

longer a “site of the NYU Medical Center.”

The import of that, Moor-Jankowski

explains, is that while he personally raises

LEMSIP’s annual budget of $4 million, mostly

from industry, “The money goes through NYU.

As soon as I started opposing Wood’s experi-

ments, the money was withheld, jeopardizing

our ability to meet USDA standards.”

Elaborates Suzanne Roy of In

Defense of Animals, “Moor-Jankowski had

arranged for over $450,000 in funds from the

U.S. Army to underwrite the establishment of a

chimpanzee retirement facility in South Texas.”

Also to house retired LEMSIP chimps, the

facility was to be run by the Buckshire

Corporation, whose president, Glen Wrigley,

rattled the research establishment by filing a

brief in support of Moor-Jankowski and

McGreal during the Immuno case. The contract

was to cover lifetime care for 12 chimps, all

over 30 years old, formerly used in military

experiments at the Delta Regional Primate

Center in Louisiana. Those projects ceased in

1991. Three of the chimps are now at the

Buckshire headquarters in Pennsyvlania, while

LEMSIP has five; four remain at Delta.

“But NYU wouldn’t sign the deal,”

Moor-Jankowski continues. “They wanted to

keep the money. And they wanted to fire me,

but they couldn’t, so they fired the lab.”

While Moor-Jankowski pursued the

transfer of LEMSIP to the Aaron Diamond

Foundation, a longtime sponsor, preparatory to

his own retirement, NYU associate dean David

Scotch “appears to have actively courted the

participation of Fred Coulston in a takeover

plan,” Wisconsin Regional Primate Center

librarian Larry Jacobsen charged in a February

9 posting on Primate-talk, an Internet bulletin

board for primatologists. University of

California at San Diego anthropologist Jim

Moore backed the posting on February 14 with

an extensive bibliography of sources.

Neither NYU representatives nor

Coulston have been willing to discuss the situa-

tion in detail with media.


Coulston, 80, is owner of the White

Sands Research Center in Alamogordo, New

Mexico, and founder of the Coulston Found-

ation, sited at nearby Holloman Air Force Base,

which keeps 140 chimps left over or descended

from the NASA “space monkey” program of the

1950s and early 1960s. Since Coulston took

over the Holloman facility in June 1993, three

chimps died from overheating on October 31,

1993; four macaques died of bloat and vomit-

ing on June 14, 1994, their first day in outdoor

housing; two chimps died in July 1994, one of

apparent untreated pneumonia and meningitis,

the other of apparent oversedation for a routine

physical; and in December 1994, according to

Jacobsen, “An as yet unrevealed number of

monkeys died of thirst and dehydration in a

room where the water was shut off.”

A staffing ratio of one person per 33

primates, criticized by the National Institutes of

Health in a June 1994 site visit report, may

have contributed to the deaths. “The report also

notes that the Coulston

Foundation veterinary

staff is too small, largely

undertrained and inexpe-

rienced,” Jacobsen said.

Between his two

facilities, Coulston

already has about 540

Chimps and

800 macaques. He reportedly

offered NYU $1 million

for LEMSIP, the acquisi-

tion of which would give

him more than half the lab chimps in the U.S.

“This,” observed Jacobsen, “despite the fact

the Coulston’s enterprises in New Mexico are

marginal financially.”

At deadline, Moor-Jankowski hoped

criticism of a possible deal with Coulston from

other scientists might make NYU back off.


Meanwhile, according to Roy, “a

PETA undercover investigation has shown

Buckshire is in serious violation of the Animal

Welfare Act in both its chimpanzee housing

area, where conditions are at best bleak, and its

cat colony.” In February, the USDA cited

Buckshire for housing chimps in undersized

cages and failing to provide adequate medical

care––situations Moor-Jankowski attributes to

the NYU hold on the funding.

In mid-March, Army Medical

Research Acquisition Department director

Gregory Doyle ordered NYU to remove the

chimps from Buckshire.

In between, on February 24, Wrigley

offered to sell PETA all the chimps to which

Buckshire holds title. PETA refused the offer

on February 27. However, wrote PETA direc-

tor of research, investigations, and rescue

Mary Beth Sweetland, “We are always willing,

in conjunction with the Great Ape Project and

the Chimpanzee Rescue Centre [an English

s a n c t u a r y ] , to talk about a donative transfer.

Perhaps a condition under which Buckshire is

released from providing for the chimpanzees’

lifetime care would make such a transfer more

attractive to you.”

“We have 40 adult chimps,”

Buckshire spokesperson Sharon Hersh told

ANIMAL PEOPLE, “ranging from 13 to 35

years of age, who would be able to leave their

current situation for residence outside of the

research community. We have assigned costs

ranging from $12,000 to $18,000, depending

upon their breeding status. Many are ex-per-

forming chimps who had worked with trainers.

Some were part of a large group imported from

Africa for breeding in the late 1960s. Others

were born within the research community. We

would entertain selling specific animals.”

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