The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited the University of California Berkeley laboratories after an allegation that a macaque monkey they were experimenting with showed symptoms consistent with dehydration. The monkey was on “water regulation” and was made to follow a “water schedule”. After USDA inspected the premises and documentation, they found that laboratory staff had failed to follow the water regulation section of the protocol. The problem was initially self-reported to the USDA by campus officials, which is something often done by laboratories to avoid fines or even closure. However, according to the USDA investigation report, two additional incidents involving dehydration among macaque monkeys occurred despite the laboratory staff’s retraining.
Janet Gilmore, a UC Barkley spokesperson, said to the Daily Californian, “We consider any animal care violation of policies or protocols to be serious, and individuals who violate those policies are subject to disciplinary action that can include consequences as severe as loss of employment.”
Kathy Guillermo, the senior vice president of the Laboratory Investigations Department at PETA, said, “The laboratories at Cal have a history of violations so while it’s always a shock to see how animals have suffered in laboratories, we find that universities that violate regulations are repeat offenders… Unfortunately, the citations are not good deterrents…If the USDA does its job properly, the university will be cited…It should lose its license to keep animals.” PETA has been sending complaints about many vivisection labs from the evidence they have found in official inspections or undercover investigations. Recently, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR) has revoked the permit that allowed a Shreesh Mysore, an experimenter from Johns Hopkins University (JHU), Baltimore, Maryland, to kill barn owls in his experiments. This case was also exposed by PETA.