Leaked Photos Lead to Primate Lab Protest
USDA to send inspector to Doral’s Primate Products
By JEFF BURNSIDE and BRIAN HAMACHER
Updated 8:09 AM EDT, Wed, Sep 8, 2010
A group of protesters gathered outside a Doral research lab Tuesday afternoon after photos showing severely injured monkeys taken in their labs were leaked last month.
The 50 or so demonstrators were fenced into a corner across from Primate Products, an importer of animals for experimentation and research. They held signs and chanted about what they call “shameless and reckless destruction of innocent life.”
The leaked photos that have created the furor depict bloodied, lifeless primates in a surgical setting, deep gashes on skulls, an open wound on an arm, and you can see reddish or inflamed areas on the hindquarters in one photo.
Company President Don Bradford said his vet staff was trying to care for the monkeys and that they were injured by other monkeys, not by experimentation or transportation.
“The pictures are those our veterinary staff took to document the medical treatment to animals that were injured by other animals,” Bradford said in a statement. “They are completely healed, healthy, beautiful animals.”
The USDA says that as a result of the complaints they’ve received over the photos, they’ll be sending an inspector to Primate Products.
But protesters Tuesday said they’re not hopeful anything will change.
“The reality is animal research isn’t about science, it’s not about human health, it’s about money. And this is one of the places where that starts,” said protester Michael Budkie, with Stop Animal Exploitation Now. “They literally buy, sell, and trade in non-human primates. If not for them, animal experiments in many places simply couldn’t happen because they couldn’t get the primates to do them with.”
Doral Police stood between the protesters and the building and sent eight police vehicles.
“What they’re trying to do is intimidate us with cameras and their crossed arms, and dour expressions,” said protester Gary Serignese. “What they should do is turn toward the real criminals.”
First Published: Sep 8, 2010 6:59 AM EDT