War on Terror may draft Health Canada monkeys
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2002:
OTTAWA–Health Canada, trying to reduce monkey inventory
since 1997 and permitting no breeding since 1998, but balking at
releasing monkeys to sanctuaries, may sell some to the U.S. Army
Institute of Infectious Diseases in Fort Dietrich, Maryland,
reported Margaret Munro of The National Post on January 21, 2002.
“The first Canadian casualties of bioterror could be Health
Canada monkeys used in lethal smallpox experiments,” Munro wrote.
Munro said that U.S. Army smallpox research chief Peter
Jahrling, M.D., told her that he now uses mostly wild-caught
monkeys from Indonesia and the Philippines.
Said Jahrling, “The Canadian colony could prove a much more
reliable source of animals.”
An outbreak of simian foamy virus in the Health Canada colony
has apparently been contained. Explained Kelly Egan of the Ottawa
Citizen., “Simian foamy virus is a retrovirus common in nonhuman
primates but extremely rare in humans.” Testing in April 2000 found
that 220 of the 275 monkeys kept at the Sir Frederick Banting
Research Centre in Ottawa had been exposed. Forty-six of the 81
Banting Research Centre staff were tested next; two had been exposed.
At least 68 of the 81 staffers were further tested in
mid-2001, but the results of that study were confidential, said
acting Banting Centre chief of infectious disease control Paul Gully,
M.D. “This is essentially medical information,” Gully told Egan.
“It is no longer research.”