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Abnormal Hair Loss, Faulty Euthanasia Among Research Monkeys Triggers Gov’t Response

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Abnormal hair loss, dirty conditions and “faulty use of an anesthesia machine” on research monkeys at the Oregon Health & Science University has caused the federal government to take action.  (SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images)

Abnormal hair loss, dirty conditions and “faulty use of an anesthesia machine” on research monkeys at the Oregon Health & Science University has caused the federal government to take action. (SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images)

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Hillsboro, Ore. (CBS SEATTLE) – Abnormal hair loss, dirty conditions and “faulty use of an anesthesia machine” on research monkeys at the Oregon Health & Science University has caused the federal government to take action.

More than half of the rhesus macaques at the experimental research center, the Oregon National Primate Research Center in Hillsboro, have been suffering from abnormal hair loss and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has revealed a series of other issues from their investigation, The Oregonian reports.

The federal government investigation comes on top of a June 2013 event in which a group of 260 of the rhesus macaques research monkeys became irritated by construction noises and began fighting – leaving to the hospitalization of 21, and six who were euthanized.

Overall, 10 monkeys died in four separate incidents at the research center.

The April 2 USDA inspection report released by Michael Budkie of the Ohio-based Stop Animal Exploitation Now group said the government should issue the maximum penalty for such “incompetent” care at the facility that houses 5,000 “nonhuman primates.”

The inspection also found “dirty bedding, cracked walls making it hard to disinfect,” and a monkey who died during an operation due to “faulty use of an anesthesia machine,” The Oregonian reports. “Animals of all ages and both genders are affected,” according to the report.

In response, OHSU officials said they have been ethical and humane in their efforts.

“Over and above adherence to all laws and regulations, we at OHSU and ONPRC accept an ethical mandate to ensure that all of our animals are treated respectfully and humanely. We employ 15 veterinarians, a dedicated Behavioral Services Unit and dozens of other individuals to care for the animals that live here. As a result of that exemplary care, our monkeys live nearly twice as long, on average, as their counterparts in the wild,” said via press release.

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