By Lisa Yount
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I saw filth caked on the wires of the cages, feces piled in the bottom of the cages, urine and rust encrusting every surface. 65 Perhaps worst of all, the monkeys apparently no longer recognized their treated limbs as part of their bodies and had viciously bitten and chewed them, producing wounds that often became infected and were left untreated. Working alone in the laboratory at night, Pacheco videotaped the monkeys and their miserable surroundings. He also brought in local primate experts to witness what he had seen.
Working alone in the laboratory at night, Pacheco videotaped the monkeys and their miserable surroundings. He also brought in local primate experts to witness what he had seen. He then took his film, notes, and the experts’ sworn statements to local police. On September 11 the police searched the laboratory, confiscated 17 monkeys, and charged Taub with 17 counts of animal cruelty, one for each monkey—the first time a federally funded researcher had been charged under a state animal cruelty law.
Even the “lucky” animals that the shelters accept may spend months or years in small, barren cages if they are not adopted quickly. Nonetheless, no-kill shelters have become popular and are increasing in number. More controversially, rather than euthanizing animals considered unadoptable, some shelters sell such animals to laboratories for research or education, or to dealers who, in turn, sell them to laboratories. Supporters of this practice say that since the animals are slated to die anyway, they might as well benefit science first, but because of fears, justified or otherwise, about what might be done to animals in a lab, many shelter organizations and members of the public oppose this practice.
Animal Rights by Lisa Yount