UW-Madison research monkeys suffered this year from diarrhea, traumatic injuries and psychological stress, in numerous alleged violations of federal regulations, according to complaints filed this month by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
The complaints, which PETA filed Sept. 2 with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institutes of Health, claim violations from March through Sept. 1, when PETA said one of its investigators worked undercover at the university’s Wisconsin National Primate Research Center.
The allegations come after UW-Madison was fined $74,000 in April by the USDA for 28 violations of federal animal research treatment standards from March 2015 to April 2019. In August, the group Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!, or SAEN, filed a complaint with the USDA claiming four additional incidents reported by the university in October through February were federal violations.
PETA alleges six types of animal welfare violations. Monkeys had persistent diarrhea, a condition called rectal prolapse, and traumatic injuries, including some involving or leading to amputations of a finger or a toe, its complaints said.
Staff separated infants from mothers, causing trauma, and failed to prevent “accidental opening” of enclosures, PETA said. Monkeys suffered from psychological distress, hair pulling and a fear of cage mates, and cleaning and staff training were inadequate, the complaints said.
Nadine Connor, the university’s associate vice chancellor for research policy and compliance, was presented with a copy of PETA’s USDA complaint Tuesday but said she hadn’t had a chance to closely examine it.
“UW–Madison is continuously examining and improving its procedures, equipment and personnel training to maximize the societal benefit of our vital animal research and to minimize risks to animals,” Connor said in a statement.