Protest in Reno Over Lab Animals; 32 Killed in ‘Accident’ Last Year

A year after it was revealed that 32 monkeys were cooked to death in a laboratory here, a protest targeting that company will be held Friday, part of demonstrations in more than two dozen cities opposing the use of non-human primates in laboratory experiments. Opponents are supported by reports that violence in labs to non-human privates is invalidating research.

The demonstration will be held FRIDAY, Oct. 23, at 10 a.m. at Charles River Laboratories (Maestro Dr. & Longley Lane), sponsored by the Northern Nevada Animal Alliance.

It was Charles River – with facilities in Reno and Sparks – that admitted in August, 2008 that an “accident” had killed the primates. Two monkeys had fingers amputated in another “accident.”

In-depth investigations of laboratories across the U.S. by SAEN (, a national research watchdog group based in Ohio, show violence toward non-human primates in laboratories is rampant, with hundreds of monkeys & apes suffering from traumatic injuries.

“We are throwing money into a black hole. The highly stressed and diseased condition of the primates potentially invalidates $1 billion in federally-funded research,” said the organizer of National Primate Liberation Week (NPLW) Michael A. Budkie, SAEN executive director.

“The staff of many laboratories cannot even keep the monkeys from attacking each other, themselves, or escaping from their cages. These animals also commonly suffer from many diseases before they are ever used in experiments,” he added.

Citing health care records from major primate labs across the nation collected from government reports, Budkie lists case after case of severe trauma resulting in multiple amputations of digits and tails as well as monkeys which appear to be nothing more than walking skeletons, having no body fat whatsoever.

Budkie, who provides shocking details of the daily lives of primates in U.S. labs in a new book Tear at the Jacket, reveals that although the government shows about 70,000 primates used in experiments, there are actually tens of thousands additional primates held captive in breeding colonies, bringing the total near 120,000.