After receiving immense pressure from animal rights activists to cease animal testing, the University of Oklahoma plans to phase out baboon research by 2019.
The University of Oklahoma has received immense pressure from animal rights organizations in recent years to cease its research on baboons. In response, the college has announced that by the year 2019, its baboon research program will be completely phased out.
At present, the University’s facilities house 199 baboons, all which are used for medical research. The baboons live in outdoor pens within enclosed concrete walls, and according to reports, were investigated two months ago by a local news station after 23 baboons died in their cells.
Infamous animal rights organization PETA has been aware of the University’s research on baboons since 2005, however.
Explained Dr. Alka Chandna, a laboratory oversight specialist for PETA:
“There were issues where the welfare of the primates was much compromised, sometimes because of neglect, sometimes because of incompetence, because there wasn’t enough care given or oversight with what was happening with these animals.”
The University’s press release made no mention of animal welfare in its statement. The release stated only that “driving this decision is the goal of the University to carefully prioritize and assign limited funds to mission-critical research endeavors.”
As Channel 9 reports, there was no mention of where the baboons will go next.
“There is a very big worry that animals will either be euthanized or they will be sent to other labs,” said Dr. Jessica Ganas, a development director at Mindy’s Memory Sanctuary in Newcastle that houses non-human primates.“These animals have dedicated their lives for humans, for research and they absolutely deserve retirement in sanctuary.”
PETA estimates that at least 700 non-human, non-baboon primates are used for research in the facilities, but no mention was made of what their future will be either.
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