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Davis, California

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

7 infant primates die at UC Davis’ primate research center

Some believe negligence is to blame

Seven infant primates died while under the watch of scientists at the California National Primate Research Center. Dedicated to improving the health of both animals and people, The California National Primate Research Center is located on the outskirts of the UC Davis Campus, between West Village and Putah Creek. 

“The center carries out research that benefits human health, for example on HIV/AIDs, Zika virus and other infectious disease, respiratory disease, reproductive health, Alzheimer’s disease and aging,” said Andy Fell, a spokesperson for the primate center.

The animals died due to a suspected cause of negligence in 2018. However, this news was not announced until just last month

The university said the infant primates died from an allergic reaction to dye passed on to them by their mothers, but Michael Budkie of Stop Animal Exploitation NOW says this is not likely. 

“It seems to me that UC Davis is attempting a cover-up,” Budkie wrote in a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

According to federal documents, the baby primates died from untreated sepsis and bronchopneumonia. There is no evidence of veterinary care given to these animals, according to Budkie. 

“The records indicate that five of the infant monkeys likely had an anaphylactic reaction. But the other two had severe infections. Things like this do not develop overnight. UC Davis clearly failed to provide adequate veterinary care and their negligence in that regard killed two of these infants,” Budkie said. 

Fell said animals at the center receive “the utmost care.”

In an attempt to improve this animal rights issue, SAEN filed a complaint with the USDA asking for a $10,000 fine to be imposed on The California National Primate Research Center for the death of each primate.

Written by: Ellen Caminiti — science@theaggie.org


  1. This is utterly sickening for many reasons. Has anyone ever seen footage of primates being experimented on? Or, have you seen footage of a primate after 20 years of being imprisoned for experiments? It is heart-wrenching. Your entrails twist with disgust. What is happening is imprisonment, experiments, torture and negligence. The word inhumane is an ironic word. Humans are capable of atrocities like these for supposedly the greater good- for humans. How does one reconcile these atrocities as ethical? Would you allow this to happen to your cat or dog or baby? There are other experimental options.


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