Activists Criticize UC Primate Center


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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sherri Stevens used to clean cages and feed animals at U-C Davis’ Primate Research Center from 2002 to 2005. 

"I saw co-workers being excessively aggressive with animals during procedures."

She worked there when seven monkeys died in 2004 from overheating because of a faulty room heater. 

"The incident with the animals that died in the ventilation malfunction - that was probably the most disturbing thing I’d ever seen." 

Stevens has joined with the animal rights group Stop Animal Exploitation Now which is asking federal officials to investigate the center.

But John Capitanio, the center’s associate director, says they always come through with flying colors after unannounced visits by a variety of inspection agencies. He says this is just a publicity stunt. 

"We’ve seen this group before in the past and historically they have raised a series of allegations that have been downright wrong and so we’re a facility that has a good track record." 

Researchers at the center used primates to study AIDS, asthma and gene therapy.