New documents sought under U.S. Freedom of Information laws, similar to those in India’s Right to Information Act, revealed that last year, 27 monkeys kept at NASA’s research center were killed by drugging them. According to a Guardian report, all 27 monkeys were killed one day at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. 27 primates allegedly suffer from Parkinson’s disease and were euthanized in February 2019.
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All the monkeys housed at the NASA center were over 21 years old. Euthanasia has raised alarm bells among animal rights activists, who have questioned the decision to kill the monkeys instead of moving them to a shelter. Animal rights activists called NASA’s decision “inhumane” and called for an investigation into the matter.
U.S. House spokeswoman Kathleen Rice sent a letter to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstein asking her to know why the monkeys were not moved to the shelter.
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Monkeys not used for research
According to the report, the monkeys were housed at NASA’s California Research Center in partnership with LifeSource BioMedical and were not used for any research purposes. According to Stephanie Solis, CEO of LifeSource BioMedical, the monkeys were handed over to a company that rents space at NASA’s center, and she decided to provide animal care because no shelter is willing to receive them because of poor health.
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Solis further added that it was decided to euthanize the monkeys in a humane way, having in mind their age and impaired health. Solis said the monkeys provided quality care at the center while they were not alive, adding that all costs were borne by the company itself. Meanwhile, NASA said it does not house any primates in its facilities other than humans.
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