Harvard monkeys die after alleged animal mistreatment. Reuters reports Dec. 18 that on Wednesday the U.S. Department of Agriculture fined Harvard Medical School $24,000 for repeated violations in animal welfare. When it was learned that four monkeys have died at Harvard's research facility since 2011, it prompted an investigation.
Enough evidence was gathered to back up the government's decision to fine Harvard's animal research labs in Massachusetts. The university announced this year that it plans to close that part of the facility located in Southborough, Mass. due to financial reasons.
According to the report, Harvard Medical School feel the fine is "appropriate," which is completely the opposite of how an animal rights group feels. They believe the fine is too low for the prestigious school. They were upset like most would be to hear that Harvard monkeys have died while in labs. Most of it has to do with negligence on the part of lab personnel it turns out.
"The USDA fine cited Harvard for 11 incidents in 2011 and 2012, including several that noted laboratory personnel handling the animals were not properly trained or qualified."
In one such instance, back in February 2011, a laboratory worker managed to overdose a monkey with an anesthetic. The animal died of liver failure. Two other incidents caused the Harvard monkeys to die. One died from dehydration after being denied water. Another monkey died after it was strangled by a chain wrapped around his neck in a cage
Harvard has agreed to step up their procedures and staffing abilities according to USDA standards. They have been cited for animal mistreatment before and now they know this news has gotten out.
When Harvard was fined for the mistreatment of monkeys, they issued this statement:
"The leadership of the School cares deeply about upholding exemplary standards of care and attributes these outcomes to the excellent work of those members of our community who took aggressive action to institute rigorous quality improvements that benefit animal safety and welfare."
PETA had this reaction as to why the Harvard monkeys had to die:
"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."