Harvard Medical School is guilty of mistreating monkeys at its animal research labs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced yesterday that it has fined Harvard Medical School $24,000 for mistreating the monkeys and repeated animal welfare violations at its research labs in Massachusetts. Four out of the 11 affected monkeys died after mistreatment since 2011.
The USDA cited Harvard for 11 incidents happened in between 2011 and 2012. And many of these incidents happened due to less trained or less qualified laboratory personnel who were handling those animals. The government decided to fine the Harvard University after a lengthy probe.
Harvard Medical School is already planning to close its animal research lab in Southborough, Massachusetts, where 4 monkeys died. And Harvard also agreed with the USDA decision and found the fine "appropriate".
Harvard said, "The leadership of the School cares deeply about upholding exemplary standards of care and attributes these outcomes to the excellent work of those members of our community who took aggressive action to institute rigorous quality improvements that benefit animal safety and welfare."
However, the Animal welfare advocacy group PETA thinks that this $24,000 is too small for such a big university. Pets said, "For an institution that receives $185 million annually in taxpayer funds alone, half of which is used for experiments on animals, a $24,000 fine for years of abusing and neglecting monkeys won't motivate Harvard to do better."