Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Macaque Monkey Boiled To Death Inside an Everett, WA Research Facility of SNBL: As Usual, Laws Prevent Group From Being Held Legally Accountable

Very disturbing story. What this once again proves, is that any type of laboratory can do whatever it wants to any animal and it’s considered science. However, if an individual outside of a lab did these kind of acts, they’d be held under cruelty charges. See the hypocrisy here?

As stated below,

"According to RCW 16.52.205, a person can be guilty of animal cruelty in the first degree if they cause "undue suffering" or "unnecessary pain, injury, or death on an animal." However, the law also states when animal death and suffering is connected "with any properly conducted scientific experiments" it’s legal."


Do Animal Cruelty Laws Apply In Boiled Monkey Case?


Chris Halsne

KIRO 7 Eyewitness News Investigative Reporter

EVERETT, Wash. -- Calls for action continue to pour in following a KIRO Team 7 Investigation into the scalding death of a monkey inside an Everett research facility.

We discovered that a cleaning crew at SNBL left a healthy female macaque monkey in her cage, killing it by running it through a steaming hot rack washer.

The US Department of Agriculture tells KIRO that it is looking into possible Animal Welfare Act violation, but other groups are telling Investigative Reporter Chris Halsne they want criminal prosecution as well.

The National Humane Society of the United States and a Washington state-based animal rights group called Pasado's Safe Haven tell Halsne they think jail time is warranted for SNBL workers connected to the death of that monkey.

But KIRO Team 7 Investigators have discovered there are limits to Washington's felony animal cruelty statute that might make that a tough-to-win prosecution.

“There is absolutely no reason to be doing this to animals!” says Susan Michaels, who helped push through Washington's felony animal cruelty law.

She says it’s sad to say, but she’s not sure it will stop anyone from legally boiling another monkey to death at any research lab.

According to RCW 16.52.205, a person can be guilty of animal cruelty in the first degree if they cause "undue suffering" or "unnecessary pain, injury, or death on an animal." However, the law also states when animal death and suffering is connected "with any properly conducted scientific experiments" it’s legal.

Michaels tells KIRO Team 7 Investigators, “I don't even know how to put into words the kind of reaction I have, except to know that I am so grateful to KIRO that you got behind the scenes for something like this. Because according to our state law, it OK for those who experiment on animals, for them to do whatever they want to do them and there's nothing in our animal cruelty laws to stop it.”

KIRO Team 7 Investigators spoke with several attorneys representing animal rights groups who say they'd like to see prosecution anyway, arguing that the boiled monkey was "at" the lab, but not part of any experiment.

Our hidden camera expose found other problems at SNBL that might alert prosecutors as well. In an exclusive interview with us, former animal care manager Joanie McCully reported to federal inspectors animal handlers spraying acid on monkeys and intentionally dropping them on their heads.

“If the monkeys aren't cooperative, they shut them up, then they drop them on their floor on their head and spin the cage. You can see that's going on by all the dents in the floor.”

Paul Nofsinger is another former SNBL animal caretaker. He watched our investigation, thinking “I was shocked and appalled and at the same time. I thought finally!”

Nofsinger says a 2006 U.S. Department of Agriculture report, citing SNBL for poor recordkeeping, really struck a nerve. He says SNBL managers asked him repeatedly to "fill-in" animal care logbooks and documents.

“How do you get it done? You write it that it was fed or it was clean when it really wasn't. It was very common, common and sickening and nothing we could do about it if we wanted to keep our jobs,” Nofsinger said.

Primate injuries and deaths inside labs are no surprise to Jill Lute and her staff. She oversees the Folsom City, Calif. Zoo and Animal Sanctuary, where they rescue research primates from certain death, while educating the public on the importance of "enrichment" programs for captive monkeys.

Lute told us “Even though they might have to be in a research study and ultimately lose their life because of it, they should still have the decency to respect and care about them and do everything in their power to make sure the quality of life is good. They (SNBL workers) are being paid to be there to take care of those animals. They should take it very seriously.”

Lute gave names to these two research lab rescues - Wallace and Darwin.

That's something employees of SNBL say is forbidden inside here. Monkeys are only to be called by their drug-study ID numbers , so employees don't get too attached.

SNBL refuses to conduct an on-camera interview with KIRO Team 7 Investigators, but in an e-mail says it has been told that federal inspectors aren't going to issue the company a violation for the rack-washer death.

However, a spokesperson for the USDA tells Halsne there is an active and ongoing investigation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We are appalled by the cruelty that took place in the Biomedical Testlab SNBL in Everett, where a female Cynomolus Macaque was boiled alive inside a giant rack-washer.
That is why we created this petition:
Please sign!
Thank you.

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