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Federal agencies have received numerous complaints from animal rights organizations after two monkeys died while undergoing lab testing at Albuquerque’s Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute.
As initially reported in the Albuquerque Journal, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) pleaded with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to retract its Public Health Service Animal Welfare Assurance given to Lovelace for federal grants and contracts. Additionally, Ohio-based Stop Animal Exploitation Now has demanded that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) conduct an investigation against Lovelace due to “a four-year history of federal lawbreaking that has killed/sickened/injured dozens of animals.”
“Federal reports document a pattern of carelessness and disregard for basic safety conditions for the animals confined in LRRI’s laboratories,” PETA wrote in a letter to the NIH. “U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections and self-reports indicate that animals have been under the ‘supervision’ of untrained and oblivious staff whose actions and omissions have resulted in profound animal suffering and numerous animal deaths.”
On Nov. 19, 2019, the USDA concluded that two male monkeys, both age two, had died during two separate laboratory testing experiments. One died due to improper monitoring during a face-mask inhalation procedure, while the other was found deceased in a cage with five other male monkeys who were previously deemed to be combative with each other. The second monkey additionally suffered from dehydration and poor health, according to the necropsy report.
Lovelace was previously fined $21,750 for six citations from the USDA in 2011, including a monkey dying from being caught and strangled on an experimental jacket and the escape of another monkey.