OAKLAND, CA – Invasive experiments conducted by University of California staff in San Francisco, Davis and Berkeley are the subject of a complaint filed with the UC Board of Regents here – and criticized as “unethical” by scientists, ethologists and ethicists, including two former University of California veterinarians.
The complaint – examined by the Office of Ethics, Compliance, and Audit of the UC Office of General Counsel – involves experiments described by the UC veterinarians “unethical,” “distressful” and causing “great pain and suffering.”
UC facilities are accused of filing fraudulent reports with federal regulators. The complaint demands termination of the experimental procedures, including water deprivation, restraint chair confinement and bolting devices to primates’ skulls with steel screws.
Recently obtained government records, which disclose these procedures, and the scientists who use them, have been released on the internet via the SAEN website: www.saenonline.org
“The public has a right to know the truth about animal experimentation inside University of California labs,” said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, SAEN, a government research watchdog non-profit based in Cincinnati.
“Severe restraint or confinement, such as that involving restraint chairs, is one of the most stressful things that can be done to a primate . . . the situation is exacerbated when the motion of a primate is further limited by the use of surgically implanted restraining bars. Experiments that utilize these procedures are unethical,” said Dr. Bruce Max Feldmann, UC Berkeley Lab Veterinarian for 10 years
Other experts criticizing these experiments include Dr. Nicholas Dodman Director, of the Tufts University Animal behavior clinic: ” . . . withholding water for up to 22 hours per day for five days a week in order that the monkeys are motivated to work for fluid reward is unconscionable.”
The statements of the panel of six scientific experts are available upon request, as are the internal UC documents.