Harvard Medical School has been fined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for animal welfare violations involving monkeys used for research.
The fine levied on Harvard Medical School is $24,036. This related to the deaths of four monkeys in their research laboratories. Salon notes that with one monkey:
"In one case in February 2011, a laboratory worker overdosed a monkey with anesthetic, causing it to die of liver failure. In two other cases, monkeys died after being deprived of water and in another case a monkey died after a chain attached to a toy in its cage wrapped around its neck, strangling him."
in response, Harvard issued a statement, reported by the University Herald, which runs: “The leadership of the school cares deeply about upholding exemplary standards of care.”
Campaign groups are not happy with the size of the fine. Justin Goodman, a spokesman for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wrote to the Boston Globe: "For an institution that receives $185 million annually in taxpayer funds alone, half of which is spent on animal experiments, a $24,000 fine for years of abusing and neglecting monkeys won’t motivate Harvard to do better by animals."
Each of the four deaths occurred at Harvard’s laboratory in Southborough, Massachusetts. This year the school announced that it plans to close the Southborough facility for financial reasons. Harvard has a smaller research center with primates in Boston, which will stay open.