IDA wins copies of primate records

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2007:

PORTLAND, Ore.–Matt Rossell, Portland representative for
In Defense of Animals, on December 21, 2006 confirmed that he had
at last received 113,000 pages of Oregon National Primate Research
Center monkey care records, eight years after he first applied to
obtain them in 1998, during a two-year stint as a center employee.
The center is operated by Oregon Health & Science University.
After the university refused to provide the records, Rossell and IDA
sued to get them in 2001. The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled in April
2005 that Rossell and IDA had a right to obtain copies, and that a
copying charge of more than $150,000 proposed by the university was
excessive. However, the court allowed the university to black out
the names of individual researchers and animal caretakers.

“OHSU chose paper over plastic-dozens of boxes of documents
instead of a small pile of CD disks-at a much greater cost to
taxpayers and OHSU’s donors,” said an In Defense of Animals prepared
statement. “According to estimates from OHSU’s own computer
applications manager during depositions, it would have only cost
OHSU around $2,000 to produce the documents in an electronic format.
This is a fraction of the amount OHSU estimated for producing the
paper copies-approximately $22,500-which means more than $20,000 in
extra costs were incurred by OHSU supporters and taxpayers.
“We just purchased a high quality scanner and need volunteers
to help transfer these documents into electronic files that will be
much easier to review,” In Defense of Animals said.
Independent reviews of laboratory records have in recent
years repeatedly resulted in penalties against research institutions
and agreements to improve procedures. The University of California
at San Francisco, for instance, in September 2005 agreed to pay a
civil penalty of $92,500 to the USDA in settlement of 61 alleged
Animal Welfare Act violations, allegedly committed in 2001-2003.
“We did not want them to settle because [in a settlement] they don’t have to admit guilt,” said In Defense of Animals founder
Elliot Katz, asserting that “UCSF feared a public airing of the
In November 2005, then-University of Connecticut Animal
Rights Collective president Justin Goodman, a graduate student,
discovered and reported to the USDA numerous alleged Animal Welfare
Act violations by faculty neuroscientist David Waitzman. Funded by
the National Institute of Health, the Waitzman studies involve
“drilling holes into the heads of otherwise healthy monkeys,
implanting steel springs in their eyes, intentionally inflicting
brain damage, and measuring the effects on eye movements. The
monkeys are killed at the end of the study,” according to a UCARC
media release.
In July 2006, the release stated, “documents released by
the USDA through the Freedom of Information Act” showed that a March
2006 inspection “resulted in five citations for non-compliance that
contributed to the tragic death of a rhesus monkey.”

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