PRIMATES IN RESEARCH

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1996:

Jan Moor-Jankowski, MD, founder and for 30 years
director of the Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery
in Primates at New York University, and Louis Dinetz, former
LEMSIP assistant director, on August 13 sued seeking $20 million
damages from NYU and the USDA for allegedly covering up
“scientific misconduct and fraud” and violating federal whistleblower
protection laws, by terminating them both last year and
turning LEMSIP over to primate dealer Frederick Coulston, after
Moor-Jankowski went public with allegations of negligent care in
the primate laboratory of NYU addiction researcher Ron Wood.
The allegations were upheld; NYU was ordered to pay a
$450,000 civil penalty for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
However, while USDA investigators reported that NYU had illegally
retaliated against Moor-Jankowski by shutting down LEMSIP,
other USDA officials rejected his administrative complaint,
forcing him to court to seek redress. Moor-Jankowski is represented
by Philp Byler, who also represented him in his landmark
1991 libel case victory over the Austrian pharmaceutical firm
Immuno AG, which had sued him for publishing a letter by
International Primate Protection League president Shirley
McGreal, in his capacity as editor of the Journal of Primatology.


A House/Senate conference committee working to
reconcile different versions of the Veterans Administration/
Housing and Urban Development budget bills on September 19
voted to keep the $34 million funding of the U.S./Russian BION
medical space research flights scheduled for October of this year
and 1998. The American Anti-Vivisection Society, In Defense of
Animals, Humane Society of the U.S. and PETA sought to kill
the funding due to scheduled monkey experiments, in which,
according to an AAVS release, “Their tails will be cut off, and
14 electrode wires will be sunk into seven muscles in the monkeys’
arms and legs, tunneled under their skin to exit from holes
in their backs. They will be forced into straitjackets and rocketed
into space for 14 days. The Russians have not agreed to stop the
brain electrode implants and eye coil experiments on the monkeys
where wires are stitched onto the eyeballs of the animals, even
though NASA has asked them to do so. NASA agreed to end this
part of the BION experiment in its ground studies at the Ames
research laboratory after pressure from animal protection groups.”
Paul Schilling, manager of the Charles River
Laboratories monkey breeding colonies on Key Lois and
Raccoon Key, off the Florida coast, told an August 29 Florida
Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission hearing that the firm
can’t meet deadlines of December 31 to get the free-ranging monkeys
off Key Lois and December 31 to either cage or remove the
Raccoon Key colony. Schilling said Charles River has nowhere
else to put the monkeys. Charles River earlier agreed to remove
the Key Lois monkeys by 2003 and the Raccoon Key monkeys by
2008. It set up the Key Lois colony in 1973 in association with
the National Institutes of Health, and the Raccoon Island colony
in 1976, in association with the Food and Drug Administration.
Seventeen Indian langurs left in a 20-year-old colony
belonging to the anthropology department at the University of
California in Berkeley gained a one-year extension of life in late
July when amid furor over a plan to euthanize them, the department
allocated $25,000 to temporarily continue their upkeep. The
langurs, who carry the herpes virus, were used chiefly by faculty
member Phyllis Dolhinow, who is nearing retirement, is no
longer doing active research and is no longer teaching a class that
included observation of the colony. Dolhinow, who allowed two
infant langurs to die during maternal deprivation experiments
about 20 years ago, reportedly refused In Defense of Animals
president Elliot Katz’ offer to place the langurs in a sanctuary.
The French defense ministry has ordered 20 wildcaught
baboons from South Africa for use in experiments “to
evaluate the subclinical effects of irradiation doses experienced by
people during an accident in a nuclear power plant.”
Attorney John Matteson, acting for a group called
Animal Abuse Watch, charged in a suit filed on July 16 against
the Yerkes Primate Research Center at Emory University in
Atlanta that the chimpanzee Jerome, euthanized in January after
purportedly developing an advanced case of AIDS as the first
chimp known to get the human form of the disease, did not in fact
have AIDS, but was killed for publicity and his body parts dispersed
to other laboratories to conceal that he didn’t have AIDS.
Yerkes director Thomas R. Insel called the claim, “an absolute
paranoid fantasy.”
Suzanne Ildstad, a leader of the team that transplanted
baboon bone marrow into San Francisco AIDS patient Jeff
Getty in 1995, was on July 23 named head of the newly formed
Institute for Cellular Therapeutics and the Alleghany University
of the Health Sciences in Philadelphia.
The USDA on August 1 charged the Buckshire
C o r p o r a t i o n and owner Glen Wrigley with violations of the
Animal Welfare Act allegedly incurred in 1994 and 1995––but in
connection with dogs supplied to research, not the better known
and more controversial primate end of the business.

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