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University of Utah under fire from animal rights group over monkey deaths

Posted at 4:25 PM, Mar 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-21 18:25:44-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah is under fire from an animal rights group over United States Department of Agriculture inspection reports that say laboratory monkeys died of “overheating and distress” in their cages and after surgical procedures.

Michael Budkie, the head of Ohio-based animal welfare nonprofit Stop Animal Exploitation Now, which advocates against animal experiments, called inspection reports issued to the University of Utah disturbing. He said the SAEN found out about the report because the group routinely files records requests with different government agencies to obtain documents about animal testing facilities.

The University of Utah received two critical citations from the USDA in one report issued in October 2020. The critical citations occurred during a “focused inspection,” which is an inspection that occurs after a complaint or allegation of a problem, as opposed to a routine inspection.

One was for the deaths of marmoset monkeys that became trapped in their nest box within their cage in August. The door closed and they were stuck for 18 hours, dying of overheating and distress. The USDA said primate enclosures must be made so they protect animals from harm.

The university also received a critical citation for the deaths of two monkeys after surgical procedures.

Click here to read the full report from The Salt Lake Tribune.