2023-01-25 22:15:20

Oregon primate research facility under scrutiny after deaths

By Andrew Selsky

SALEM, Ore. A state lawmaker in Oregon is using thousands of pages of redacted documents he sought for more than a year to launch legislation demanding more accountability and oversight of a primate research facility with a long history of complaints.

Incidents at the Oregon National Primate Research Center, associated with Oregons largest hospital, include one in which two monkeys died after being placed into a scalding cage-washing system. Other animals perished from neglect. Workers have low morale, some have been drinking on the job, and dozens have complained about dysfunctional leadership, the documents show.

The problems at the facility in suburban Portland, Oregon, have surfaced amid a sharp debate between animal rights activists who believe experimenting on animals is unethical and researchers who say the experiments save and improve human lives.

The U.S. moved a small step away from animal testing when Congress passed a bill, signed into law by President Joe Biden in December, that eliminated the requirement that drugs in development undergo testing on animals before being provided in human trials. Advocates want computer modeling and organ chip technology to be used instead, though the Food and Drug Agency Administration can still require animal tests.

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