Tag Archives: animal research

Fate of hundreds of baboons in research program uncertain

The fate of hundreds of baboons at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center research facility in El Reno remains uncertain after the school announced plans to wind down the program that used the animals.

In September, OU president David Boren said the program would come to an end in three to four years.

The announcement came after animal rights groups raised concerns about findings of non-compliance with the Animal Welfare Act by USDA veterinarian medical officers inspecting the facility.

The Norman Transcript reports it’s likely the animals will continue to be sold for research for now.

The university says it is working with the National Institutes of Health to develop a plan for placement of the baboons, including the possibility of putting some of the animals in sanctuaries.

UW-Madison researcher changes monkey study that drew outcry

A mental health researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison won’t take newborn monkeys away from their mothers as part of an upcoming study.

Dr. Ned Kalin told the Wisconsin State Journal that complaints from animal rights groups weren’t behind the change in the study. Rather, he says other research found anxiety isn’t increased when newborn monkeys are separated from their mothers.

“We’re changing the experiment based on science, not based on pressure that I’ve had,” Kalin said.

More than 383,000 people had signed an online petition asking that the study be canceled. The study plans to put monkeys through stress tests and euthanize them after a year to study their brains.

Hannah West, executive director of Alliance for Animals and the Environment, said the group still opposes the study. But she said she’s happy the newborns won’t be taken from mothers, no matter the reason.

“The part about removing the babies from the mothers really touches the heartstrings,” West said. “But these tests are really invasive, and they’re killing the monkeys at a really young age.”

Kalin said the study is being done to try to better understand anxiety and depression. Such studies could lead to new drugs and treatments, he said.

Another study done by Kalin had used monkeys that were neglected or abused by their mothers and were removed from them. That study found those monkeys were not more anxious than others not removed from their mothers.

“We actually found less anxiety, to our surprise,” Kalin said.

Kalin plans to begin the new study by June. It was approved nearly a year ago by the school’s animal research committee, and it will include 40 rhesus macaque monkeys.