Animal Research News Roundup: March 29, 2024

The Rise for Animals Team, March 29, 2024

Here’s a roundup of this week’s biggest news stories related to animal research—all the recent media coverage you need to know right now to be the most effective activist for animals in labs.

We’re Suing the USDA. Twice.

Rise for Animals, 3/27/2024

On our and the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s behalf – and, even more importantly, on behalf of animals exploited in labs – the Harvard Law & Policy Clinic is currently pursuing two important lawsuits against the U.S. government.

First: We are working to hold the USDA accountable for allowing (if not outright empowering) researchers to deprive nonhuman primates of statutorily-prescribed care.

Second: We are endeavoring to force the USDA to inspect research facilities, as mandated by law.  📰 Full Story →

Animal Rights Activists Notch Victory, Clear Final Legal Hurdle in Yearslong Battle Over Holloman Chimpanzee Colony

Gabrielle Porter, 3/22/2024

“The legal path is now clear to move a colony of former test subject chimpanzees from an Alamogordo facility to a forested sanctuary in Louisiana where they can live out their remaining years.”

“The [NIH] recently dropped its appeal of a court ruling in favor of moving the animals out of Holloman Air Force Base’s Alamogordo Primate Facility, where they were used for biomedical experiments until 2015.”

“Animal activists and others have fought for years to force the NIH to move the chimpanzees . . . a lawsuit in 2021 [] secured a ruling from a judge who said keeping the chimps at the facility was a violation of a chimpanzee sanctuary law passed in 2000. NIH initially appealed the ruling.”  📰 Full Story →


U.S. Surgeons Perform First Pig-to-Human Kidney Transplant

Nancy Laid, 3/22/2024

“The kidney was provided by eGenesis of Cambridge, Massachusetts, from a pig [who] had been genetically edited to remove genes harmful to a human recipient and add certain human genes to improve compatibility.”

“Kidneys from similarly edited pigs raised by eGenesis had successfully been transplanted into monkeys that were kept alive for an average of 176 days….”

“A University of Maryland team in January 2022 transplanted a genetically modified pig heart into a 57-year-old man with terminal heart disease, but he died two months later.”  📰 Full Story → 


Musk’s Neuralink Breakthroughs Overshadowed by Animal Cruelty Allegations

SAMAA Web Desk, 3/23/2024

“Reports revealed that over 1,500 animals, including monkeys, pigs, and sheep, have been sacrificed in [Neuralink]’s pursuit of creating paralysis-curing brain chips . . . The controversy surrounding Neuralink’s practices have reignited debates on the morality of sacrificing animals for scientific progress.”

“Shockingly, Neuralink’s actions are not unprecedented. The US government has a history of utilizing animals in experiments aimed at enhancing surveillance and control capabilities. In one chilling example, a cat was subjected to repeated surgeries to transform [him/her] into a covert listening device, while a shark underwent open-brain surgery to implant electrodes for behavioral manipulation.”  📰 Full Story → 


A Company Stopped Importing Monkeys to the U.S. for Lab Test Over Smuggling Concerns. Now They’re Flooding Into Canada

Robert Cribb, 3/24/2024

“In early 2023, U.S. investigators subpoenaed a major pharmaceutical research firm because of exotic monkey shipments it had received from an alleged Cambodian smuggling scheme. Charles River Laboratories said it would co-operate [sic] with the [DOJ] officials, and suspended shipments of primates to its U.S. labs from Cambodia. But as one route for the drug-testing monkeys shut down, another opened wider – from Cambodia to Charles River’s labs in Quebec.”

“From massive, caged enclosures in Cambodia, long-tailed macaques are now being imported into Canada for human drug testing development in unprecedented numbers. Since Charles River’s February 2023 announcement that it would stop monkey imports to the U.S., the value of Canadian imports of the endangered animals has spiked nearly six times to more than $84 million, federal data shows. Charles River is the only registered importer of macaques from Cambodia in all of Canada.”  📰 Full Story →

Cambodian Official Acquitted of Smuggling Rare Wild Monkeys into South Florida

Jay Weaver, 3/25/2024

“A Cambodian official accused of illegally importing wild, long-tailed macaque monkeys into the [US] that were destined for Miami was acquitted Friday of conspiracy and smuggling charges after a two-week federal trial.”

“Kry was the only defendant named in the indictment to face trial in Miami. Seven other defendants from Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, and Hong Kong, including Kry’s boss, the general director of the Cambodian Forestry Administration, are at large.”  📰 Full Story →


The Animal Welfare Act Has Nothing to Do With Animal Welfare

Rise for Animals, 3/28/2024

It’s the only federal law addressing the “welfare” of animals in laboratories. So how come the Animal Welfare Act (“AWA”) doesn’t live up to its name? Here, we take a closer look at how this law was actually enacted to help sustain the animal research industry itself, rather than protect the animals it exploits.  📰 Full Story →

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