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Harvard monkeys die: $24,000 fine for mistreatment of animals

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Harvard monkeys die, getting the school slapped with $24,000 worth of fines for mistreatment of the animals in the process. The huge fine was levied by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which made the announcement of the fine on Wed., Dec. 18, 2013.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture thoroughly investigated the alleged mistreatment of Harvard monkeys for years before levying the steep fine. Harvard Medical School referred to the $24,000 fine as "appropriate," but at least one animal rights group disagrees, calling the fine too small, Newsmax reported.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released this statement, which read, in part:

"For an institution that receives $185 million annually in taxpayer funds alone, half of which is used for experiments on animals, a $24,000 fine for years of abusing and neglecting monkeys won't motivate Harvard to do better."

Four Harvard monkeys died at the school's laboratory in Southborough, Mass. since 2011. Harvard Medical School was cited for 11 incidents in 2011 in 2012. In several of these cases, lab personnel were improperly trained or unqualified to handle the monkeys.

Harvard Medical School's laboratory in Southborough is being closed due to financial reasons. However, a laboratory in Boston will remain open. The Boston facility, although smaller than the one in Southborough, maintains a similar research center that includes monkeys. None of the Harvard monkeys died in the Boston research lab; they all died in Southborough.

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