CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- A dehydrated squirrel monkey died at a Harvard Medical School research facility in December, the third monkey to die at the New England Primate Research Center in 19 months.
The Boston Globe reports that the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited Harvard for failures to comply with federal animal welfare regulations, including injuries to monkeys.
William Chin, executive dean for research at Harvard Medical School, told the newspaper that the incidents are unacceptable. He said problems with management systems and implementing basic procedures were found in a review in 2010.
Chin says new leaders are addressing the issues.
Harvard and agriculture officials say the Dec. 27 death and non-fatal dehydration of a second monkey was caused by employees' failure to check a malfunctioning water dispensing system.
Another squirrel monkey’s leg was fractured in January, when it was caught under a door, according to the Boston Globe. Also, the newspaper reported that a group of rhesus macaques escaped from their pen in December, resulting in an injury to one monkey’s foot.
“They’ve had a tough stretch, and it’s certainly something that’s gotten our attention and we look forward to them correcting the situation,” David Sacks, a USDA spokesman, told the Boston Globe.
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