University of Oklahoma to Shut Down its Baboon Research
After years under scrutiny from animal rights organizations, the University of Oklahoma has announced it will phase out its baboon research program by 2019.
The University’s facilities currently house 199 baboons, all used for medical research, in outdoor pens within enclosed concrete walls and was investigated two months prior by a local news station after 23 baboons were believed to have died there.
PETA, however, had their eye on UO since 2005.
“There were issues where the welfare of the primates was much compromised, sometimes because of neglect, sometimes because of incompetence, because there wasn’t enough care given or oversight with what was happening with these animal,” explained Dr. Alka Chandna, a laboratory oversight specialist for PETA.
The University did not mention any issues in animal welfare in its press release, only saying that “driving this decision is the goal of the University to carefully prioritize and assign limited funds to mission critical research endeavors.”
Where the baboons will go also went unsaid.
“There is a very big worry that animals will either be euthanized or they will be sent to other labs,” said Dr. Jessica Ganas, a development director at Mindy’s Memory Sanctuary in Newcastle that houses non-human primates.“These animals have dedicated their lives for humans, for research and they absolutely deserve retirement in sanctuary.”
PETA estimates that another 700 non-human, non-baboon primates are used for research in the facilities but no mention was made of what their future will be either.
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