Protesters Converge on UC Davis Primate Center

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National animal rights protesters say they have a lot to yell about.

Recently, two rhesus monkeys died at the California National Primate Research Center at UC Davis.

“They have a long standing pattern of negligence which has killed animals, and we believe the public has the right to know about it,” said protester Mike Budkie.

UC Davis also reported last year that 50 monkeys escaped when they broke the hinges on their monkey enclosure gate.

“The question we have is, if they can’t keep the animals alive and they can’t keep them in the cages, why should we believe they can do science?” Budkie said.

UC Davis says they have 5000 monkeys in their care and they follow strict animal care guidelines. The school released the following statement:

“All animals are checked twice daily and staff strive to provide the best care possible to the animals in their charge. Even with outstanding care, all facilities that raise animals have mortality rates. The Center is taking the extra step of investing in research that aims to further reduce mortality, especially among monkeys living in large groups outdoors.”

Stop Animal Exploitation Now – better known as SAEN – says, no matter what the standards are, this research is cruel, wrong and doesn’t benefit humans.

“All the primates that are being experimented on in the laboratory setting are kept in the stainless-style steel cages because that is what the laboratory setting dictates,” Budkie said.

UC Davis disagrees.

“Research with animals benefits human health. Studies at the California National Primate Research Center include HIV/AIDS, autism, Alzheimer’s Disease, asthma and lung diseases,” the school wrote in a statement.

SAEN also wants the tens of millions in federal funding given to UC Davis to be spent elsewhere.

“How many people could we give health care to for 20 to 30 million dollars a year,” Budkie said.

SAEN says they are not just going after the UC Davis laboratory; they want federal funding pulled from all of the labs in the nation, so that those labs are forced to close their doors and free the animals.

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