The Oregon National Primate Research Center is one of eight National Primate Research Centers in the United States. Part of their mission is to conduct basic and applied research for which animal models, especially monkeys, are uniquely suited for the solution of human and animal health problems and to train others to do likewise.
Many believe that while this may be swell for the humans it's not such a hot deal for the "animal models, especially monkeys."
Some of those were on the streets today in front of the lab.
According to a 2007 PETA press release, the primate center did not provide its monkeys with adequate veterinary care or pain relief and monkeys were forced to eat food from waste trays. The PETA report also said monkeys suffer such severe psychological trauma that one monkey resorted to self-mutilation.
In fact, Oregon Health Science University has been cited for numerous USDA violations at its Oregon National Primate Research Center. These include unqualified personnel, inadequate
veterinary care, and improper housing, as well as providing unapproved drugs to rhesus macaque monkeys resluting in their deaths.
The lab is listed by PETA as one of the ten worst.
According to critics, ONPRC has produced no significant benefits to human health in over forty years, billions of tax dollars and countless animals used and killed in experiments.
FIVE PROTESTERS ARRESTED AT OREGON NATIONAL PRIMATE RESEARCH CENTER IN HILLSBORO
About 50 activists descended upon the Oregon National Primate Research Center this morning to protest the facility's experimentation on monkeys.
While others carried signs and chanted, five people blocked the entrance to the center by laying in the street with plastic pipes on their arms. They were arrested at about 12:30 p.m. for obstructing traffic, a misdemeanor. Their names have not been released, but police said they were lodged in Washington County Jail.
Police said the five were arrested without incident, and the demonstration was not violent.
The protest, organized by the Portland Animal Defense League and the Ohio-based group Stop Animal Exploitation Now, focuses on the research conducted at the primate center. Michael Budkie, executive director of SAEN, said the goal of today's protest is to force the university into negotiations regarding the center's experimentation policy. He said the groups would like to see the center reduce and eventually eliminate using monkeys in experiments.
The center has most recently drawn criticism from activists after a November 2009 report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture revealed that two rhesus macaque monkeys died during a cancer study conducted at the center in April 2009. The animals were given RCA-120, a drug used to identify new blood vessels associated with transplanted ovarian tissue. The drug was not approved for use in monkeys.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced last week that the facility passed its most recent inspection on June 15 and that it was in "full compliance" with the Animal Welfare Act, a federal law that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition and transport.
- Kate Mather