Watchdog group: Several monkey deaths, escapes and injuries at Yemassee lab

Published: Nov. 18, 2015 at 7:16 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2015 at 7:18 PM EST
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YEMASSEE, SC (WCSC) - A watchdog group is taking aim at a research lab home to over 1,000 monkeys in Yemassee.

The group, Stop Animal Exploitation Now, says federal reports from this year reveal multiple monkey deaths, escapes and injuries at the Alpha Genesis laboratory.

According to SAEN, a report from February says one monkey died of dehydration and five others needed treatment after workers left the animals without water for six days.

Reports from August say two monkeys were killed after lab staff didn't return them to safe cages.

According to the animal rights organization, a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection report from April documents two separate monkey escapes at Alpha Genesis in December of 2014. They say 26 monkeys escaped in from the lab on Dec. 22 of 2014 and were at large for 48 hours.

According to the organization, one monkey escaped on Dec. 29, 2014 and was never recaptured.

"Negligence at Alpha Genesis continues to kill and injure monkeys as well as allowing escapes which endanger the public,"  said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, SAEN.  "It is high time for the USDA to seriously penalize Alpha Genesis with a six-figure fine."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and SAEN filed an official complaint on Tuesday.

Earlier this year, the group called on the USDA to terminate Alpha Genesis's license as an animal dealer for what it said were violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

We've reached out to Alpha Genesis for comment, and they haven't responded.

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