The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Charles River Laboratories, Cruel Treatment of Monkeys

Animal rights activists are crying foul about Charles River Laboratories’ efforts to fatten up and then sell obese monkeys for medical research.

“It is horrible that these monkeys are induced with diseases that will make them suffer a terrible death,” said Justin Goodman, a research supervisor at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ laboratory investigations department.

But Wilmington-based Charles River Labs said that, with the nation crippled by an obesity epidemic, its monkey business is increasingly necessary.

In 30 out of 50 states, at least 25 percent of the population is obese, health experts say. As obesity and its associated complications - such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes - wreak havoc on the nation’s health, researchers are scrambling to create new ways to treat obesity-related medical conditions.

And because primates are such close relatives to humans, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that all new drugs be tested on primates before they are marketed to the public, Charles River Labs spokeswoman Amy Cianciaruso said.

Charles River Labs plans to sell its fattened-up monkeys to pharmaceutical companies, academic research centers and biotechnology firms that will examine “the metabolic changes associated with the onset and development of diabetes” and other obesity-related diseases, the company has said.

To prepare the monkeys, Charles River Labs fed them a high-fat diet for 18 months.

In that time period, many of the monkeys developed glucose intolerance and a foundation for what scientists say will become type 2, or adult-onset, diabetes.

Last week, Charles River Labs began marketing the fattened-up monkeys for the first time. Cianciaruso said it’s still too early to tell what the response from potential customers will be.

But PETA’s Goodman, for one, is dismayed.

“Obesity is a preventable disease. It can be prevented by changes in lifestyle,” he said. “We encourage people to use a vegetarian diet.”


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