PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Two monkeys died after being put in a cage washing machine at the Oregon National Primate Research Center at Oregon Health & Science University.
OHSU confirmed the deaths Friday. Administrators said an animal care technician placed a 6-foot-tall rack of cages into a cage washing machine on Aug. 13 and turned it on, unaware that two monkeys were in one of the top cages.
After realizing the error, the technician called for veterinary staff to help. One monkey died and the second was later euthanized.
All cage washing immediately stopped and the director of animal care and use, Dr. Vickie Jarrell, was notified. OHSU stated the technician involved in this incident successfully completed OHSU’s intensive training and mentoring processes for all those involved in animal care.
OHSU referred to the situation as an accident.
Jarrell reported what happened to the regulatory agencies that oversee animal research, the Office for Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) of the National Institutes of Health and the United States Department of Agriculture. AAALAC, International, an organization that offers voluntary accreditation for animal research programs, also was contacted.
OHSU’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee is conducting an internal investigation, which will take several weeks to complete. An independent, external review committee will also be commissioned to more broadly examine hiring, training, safety and operations in animal care at ONPRC.
A statement from OHSU says, in part:
“The Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) at Oregon Health & Science University is dedicated to the humane, respectful treatment and the best possible veterinary care for the nearly 5,000 nonhuman primates at the center. Many of these animals are part of a breeding colony that supports NIH-funded research dedicated to improving human and animal health, including ongoing research into potential vaccines and treatments for COVID-19.
Dozens of highly trained veterinary professionals engage with these animals on a daily basis to ensure their ongoing safety, enrichment, health and well-being. These dedicated individuals develop strong bonds with the animals entrusted to their care -- often for many years, and, in some cases, decades – so, the accidental death of any animal is deeply distressing and their passing is grieved by all -- we deeply regret that this accident occurred.”
For the full statement and more information, go to news.ohsu.edu.
Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.