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Washington Regional Primate Research Center
If WaRPRC is the last line of information on your Primate Freedom Tag, that means you have a personal connection with a monkey currently imprisoned in Seattle, Washington.

According to Paul Robertson, a center administrator, "Research is done by more that 300 investigators at the University and from other institutions throughout the U.S.... An international program includes collaborations with Indonesia and Russia ... the WaRPRC supports facilities at two locations in Indonesia: a natural habitat breeding facility on Tinjil Island and at Bogor University in West Java; as well as at the Institute of Medical Primatology near the Black Sea in Adler, Russia."

The homepage claims, "The Center has about 1,800 monkeys representing four species. Another 1,400 macaques live in the natural habitat breeding facility on Tinjil Island in Indonesia," but no mention is made of West Java or Russia.

Institutions such as the WaRPRC are establishing offshore facilities where oversight is completely impossible and information exceedingly difficult to obtain. Both Wake Forest University and the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center are collaborating with WaRPRC in the Tinjil Island project.

“Tinjil Island, a 600 ha island located off the southern coast of West Java, Indonesia, has been designated a natural habitat breeding facility (NHBF) for simian retrovirus (SRV)-free longtailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis)…. Between February 1988 and December 1994 a total of 520 adult longtailed macaques (58 males and 462 females) were released onto Tinjil Island which previously had been uninhabitated by monkeys). Before being released, all animals were screened for SRV and tuberculosis (TB). The Tinjil population has been censused annually since 1990. The most recent census data (1997) indicate the presence of 18-20 social groups located throughout the island. Estimates of reproduction suggest an annual birth rate of about 60%. The current population size on Tinjil Island is estimated to be 1550 macaques. A critical management activity of the NHBF is the periodic harvesting of offspring for use in biomedical research. During 13 harvest operations between 1991 and 1997, 707 offspring (396 males and 311 females), mostly 1 to 3 years old, have been removed from the island.”

From: Management of a Natural Habitat Breeding Colony of Longtailed Macaques Kyes RC, Sajuthi D, Iskandar E, Iskandriati D, Pamungkas J, Crockett, CM. Tropical Biodiversity 5 (2) 1998. Web retrieved April 22, 2003. http://users.bart.nl/~edcolijn/tb524.html.

Mention must be made of two special programs underway at Washington:

Primate Supply Information Clearinghouse
Washington Regional Primate Research Center
Box 357330, University of Washington
Seattle, WA, 98195-7330
Phone: 206-543-5178 FAX: 206-616-1710
e-mail: psic@bart.rprc.washington.edu

The Primate Supply Information Clearinghouse (PSIC) is essentially a swap-meet for primate vivisectors. Primate experimentation tools and animals are offered for sale, trade, and sometimes free to anyone willing to pay postage. In one past issue of the newsletter an established breeding colony of 110 African green monkeys "owned" by Tulane was offered for sale; three SIV positive Sykes monkeys from Yerkes were offered, 44 bushbabies including older wild-caputured animals were offered for $500 each; a number of cynomolgus macaques were offered from various institutions, an undisclosed number had been used in prior research. The Oregon Regional Primate Research Center's listing for rhesus macaques was interesting: "Males, females, various ages, some prior research, some naive. Pregnant female from timed mating program, known gestation period available."

Charles Bradbury, apparently from the West Haven, Connecticut VA Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, was offering two Plas-Labs primate restraint chairs on casters and in good condition to the highest bidder.

According to William Morton, WaRPRC director, "At the end of 1998, the PSIC had 479 subscribers and participants. The PSIC database, maintained on an IBM-compatible PC, includes >600 active listings for animals, tissues, suppliers, services, equipment, and other primate resources. In 1998, > 600 referral requests were received and the PSIC was able to provide an average of five sources per request. In all, 3,694 animals were placed, with 379 facilities and >475 researchers, veterinarians, and colony/zoo managers participating in the network."

Another program that sets WaRPRC apart is the Infant Primate Research Laboratory.

Other than the obvious odious nature of an entire lab devoted to rearing and supplying infant monkeys to researchers, one point of concern regarding this facility is the fact that it is under the direction of Gene P. Sackett (Associate Director). Sackett is the author of papers such as: "The Effects of Total Isolation Rearing on the Behavior of Rhesus and Pig-tailed Macaques" (1976), and the recently published "Weaning, Body Weight, and Postpartum Amenorrhea Duration in Pigtailed Macaques (Macaca nemistrina)." [Maninger N, Sackett GP, Ruppenthal GC. American Journal of Primatology: 2000 Oct; 52(2):81-91], in which the authors write: "Early permanent infant separation or weaning decreases the time interval between pregnancies and interbirth intervals for many female primates."

Sackett is a student of the infamous Harry Harlow, and, as such, has based his career and life on the study of the effects of taking babies from their mothers. For a more detailed look at the legacy of Harlow visit: Downstream: Suffering Harlow.

LEARN ABOUT the experimentation being funded by the National Institutes of Health conducted at the WaRPRC. Most researchers (e-mail addresses provided) are conducting many studies at any one time.