NASA was charged with “waste and wrongdoing” after killing 27 monkeys in a single day.
Animal rights activists found that no primates were spared euthanasia at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California. 27 were killed on February 2, 2019.
Activists with Rise for Animals exposed the deaths after filing freedom of information requests with the US space agency. NASA admitted they had justified the killing of two colonies because they “developed age-related health problems”.
The discovery caused an outcry, reports the Daily star.
John Gluck, an expert on animal ethics at the University of New Mexico, said the monkeys “did not appear to be considered worthy of a sanctuary chance. Not even an attempt? Disposal instead of simple decency. Shame on those responsible.” .
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The Guardian reports that Kathleen Rice, a representative of the US House of Representatives, wrote to Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s administrator, to ask for an explanation of the deaths.
Rice told the Guardian, “I look forward to an explanation from Administrator Bridenstine as to why these animals were forced to disappear into captivity and be euthanized instead of living their lives in a sanctuary.”
According to Rise for Animals, NASA’s response to their request set out the two reasons for the mass murders of two colonies.
A larger colony of 21 monkeys was killed because: “This was an aging Parkinson’s colony that had never been used in the study, but remained as long as possible as a dormant closed colony that had health problems due to age developed, led to a human decision to euthanize. “
The second, a smaller colony of six individuals, was killed because: “This was an aging colony that had not been used for study in many years, but remained as a dormant closed colony for as long as possible due to age Developing health problems led to the decision to humanly euthanize. “
According to Rise for Animals, in response to its request for open records, the NASA Office of Communications confirmed that no primates were spared euthanasia and were told, “According to the IACUC, there have been no departures of primates from the Ames Research Center.” “
The group has now reached out to NASA’s Inspector General for an investigation into the “waste and misconduct” at the Ames Research Center.
Stephanie Solis, executive director of LifeSource Biomedical, said the primates were turned over to the laboratory “years ago” after no refuge was found for them due to their age and poor health.
She said, “We have agreed to accept the animals, act as a refuge, and provide all care at our own expense until their advanced age and declining health led to the decision to humanely euthanize to avoid a poor quality of life.” . “
Solis said the primates were not tested while they were in Ames and that they were given “good remaining quality of life”.
A NASA spokesman said, “NASA has no non-human primates in NASA or NASA-funded facilities.”