Yesterday I told you the USDA would be taking a hard look at the Harvard-owned New England Primate Research Center after a monkey died under questionable circumstances in December – the third primate death in 19 months. Today comes word that a fourth monkey died on Sunday, the very day the USDA released their report.
The Boston Globe reports Harvard has suspended all new experiments at the primate center on Parmenter Road. The most recent death of an elderly cotton top tamarin monkey is still being investigated, but dehydration was likely a contributing factor. Dehydration from a malfunctioning water bottle was also fingered in the death of a spider monkey in December.
From the Globe:
Three of the deaths have occurred since October, despite a change in the center’s leadership the previous month after a comprehensive review found evidence of insufficient oversight and gaps in following basic procedures.
After returning from an hourslong visit to the primate center yesterday, Dr. Jeffrey Flier, Harvard Medical School’s dean, said that Sunday’s death was “utterly shocking’’ and that immediate actions are being taken to protect animals.
You can read the full article here, including more of what Harvard has to say about the latest incident.