Friday, May 21, 2010

County May Consider Ethics of Primate Experimentation

Alliance for Animals

P.O. Box 1632, Madison, Wisconsin 53701
Phone: 608-257-6333

May 21, 2010

News Advisory

Contact: Rick Bogle 608.222.2348

County May Consider Ethics of Primate Experimentation

Dane Co, Wisc ..... A resolution to establish a Citizens’ Advisory Panel to study the use of monkeys in Dane County was introduced at the Dane County Board of Directors meeting last night, May 20, 2010. Thirteen Dane County Supervisors cosponsored the resolution.

Dane County Resolution 35 was referred to the Executive Committee and the Health and Human Needs Committee for deliberation.

The resolution would establish a panel of citizens to gather information from a broad base of knowledgeable sources concerning the care and use of the monkeys in Dane Co.; the ethics of the experiments being conduced; and barriers to retiring animals no longer wanted by the labs.

Dane County has quietly and without notice become the monkey experimentation capital of the world. More monkeys are used in Dane County than any U.S. state, and almost as many as in the entire European Union.

“This is a very significant step in our ongoing efforts to stimulate and nurture public discussion and well-informed consideration of this important and very controversial issue,” said Rick Bogle, co-director of the Alliance for Animals. “Dane County’s position as the world’s top user of monkeys should give us pause when we consider the evidence that they suffer just like you or I would if we were being treated like they are being treated. It’s time to bring the details out of the closet.”

The county supervisors who are co-sponsoring the resolution deserve much praise for their integrity and moral courage.

For more information and to view a copy of Resolution 35, see


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dear Librarians of the World

I was digging through some past correspondence and happened on the letter below. FYI, they never replied.

via: USPS; hyperlink added.
January 1, 2007

Wisconsin Library Association
5250 East Terrace Drive, Suite A
Madison WI 53718-8345

Dear WLA and the Intellectual Freedom Round Table:

I am writing to complain about an instance of censorship of information that may have, and should have, involved University of Wisconsin librarians.

Attached, is an article from the Isthmus that provides some details of the situation. (Primate tapes get trashed, 08/11/2006.)

Briefly: the university denied public records requests for information held by the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center. Sixty-two days after one denial, documents, photographs, and sixty boxes of videotapes were destroyed by the primate center.

This matter should be of concern to the WLA for at least two reasons.

1. Important historical documents and unique visual records have been lost forever through an act of intentional destruction carried out under the auspices of the University of Wisconsin even as members of the public were asking for that information.

2. The Lawrence Jacobsen Library is housed at the primate center. It is a part of the primate center and a part of the University of Wisconsin General Library System. The library violated its mission when it chose not to collect this unique collection of information regarding research occurring at its own institution:
The Wisconsin Primate Research Center Library and Information Service supports the research and outreach missions of the National Primate Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison. The library acquires, organizes, develops, provides access to, and delivers information resources in a variety of formats to Center scientists and staff, University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty and students, and persons worldwide with an interest in primatology. Essential to this mission is the effort to comprehensively collect and provide access to print, audiovisual and digital materials related to nonhuman primates in research, conservation, education, and veterinary care.
The mission of the June Northrop Barker Archives, part of the Lawrence Jacobson Library:
The June Northrop Barker Archives serves to enrich and support the cross-disciplinary field of Primatology by acting as a repository for the history and science of this emerging field. To do this, the Barker Archives solicits, collects, organizes, describes, preserves and provides access to the research and historical documents, as well as the records of the international, national and regional organizations related to the field of Primatology.
The destruction of these documents, photographs, and sixty boxes of videotapes is grossly at odds with the library’s mission. Even if the tapes were damaged, the librarians should still have saved, repaired, and archived that information, and made it available to the library’s present and future users.

So much unique information has been irretrievably lost to the public – to say nothing of the loss to history and science – while these librarians either did nothing to prevent this loss or have remained silent after the fact.

The librarians at the Lawrence Jacobsen Library violated a fundamental professional ethic of the field of librarianship:
The American Library Association defines intellectual freedom, a fundamental professional ethic of the field of librarianship, as the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. It provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause or movement may be explored. Intellectual freedom encompasses the freedom to hold, receive and disseminate ideas.
These librarians did not advocate for the intellectual rights of those seeking the information. The destruction of this information raised barriers to an exploration of all sides of the question of primates in research and animal rights. The Lawrence Jacobsen Library may not have been able to stop the destruction of this information, but book burning is book burning, and librarians must call attention to it wherever it occurs.

I am enclosing copies of letters to the Lawrence Jacobson Library, the University of Wisconsin’s General Library System, the University of Wisconsin’s School of Library and Information Studies, and to the ALA regarding this situation.

I hope the WLA will take strong action on this matter.


Rick Bogle

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fear in place of thought

Listen carefully to O'Connor's argument for why he uses monkeys. He seems to argue that fear alone is sufficient reason to keep paying him. He seems to argue that any and every effort is justified to solve a serious problem -- and never mentions the complete failure of the method he is using. Critical thinking must not have been part of his alma mater's curriculum, or ethics.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Poop Aways Surfaces.

UW-Madison professor barred from lab for potentially dangerous experiments

By DEBORAH ZIFF and RON SEELY | Wisconsin State Journal | Posted: Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A UW-Madison professor who studies the infectious disease brucellosis lost his laboratory privileges because university officials said he conducted unauthorized experiments that could have posed a risk to human health.

Gary Splitter, a tenured professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine, won't be allowed to work in a lab for five years because of the violation, a stiff punishment for a faculty member whose livelihood depends on publishing papers based on lab experiments. It's a rare discipline, said UW-Madison Provost Paul DeLuca.

Splitter's lab created antibiotic-resistant strains of brucellosis and inserted them into mice, university officials said, without approval from local or federal agencies. The concern is that if someone contracted the antibiotic-resistant version of the disease created in the lab, they could not have been treated.

University officials said the experiments were conducted in a lab with a high safety level and the resistant brucellosis strains in question were destroyed by university biological safety employees after they were discovered. One lab worker did get infected with brucellosis, DeLuca said, but it's not clear it was from the experiment under investigation. The person recovered, he said.

See too: UW-Madison: Bumbling Oafs or Big Fat Liars?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Dalai Lama is Coming Back to Madison, or "'Callooh! Callay!' He chortled in his joy."

He shows up every so often. His buddy Geshe Sopa runs the monastery just outside Madison called unimaginatively and ironically Deer Park after the deer park in Benares where the historical Gautama Buddha is said to have first espoused The Four Nobel Truths.

Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai Lama, is coming this time around to help inaugurate the twisted brainchild of his demented apostle, His Holiness, The Richard Davidson.
“Investigating Healthy Minds”: A public dialogue with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and Richard Davidson, moderated by Daniel Goleman, author, “Emotional Intelligence,” and “Ecological Intelligence”
Special guests: Governor James Doyle; Madison Youth Choir
2:15 – 3:30 p.m.
Capitol Theater, Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, Wisconsin
They will apparently share a dais (probably just two chairs, but we’ll see) at the Overture Center and intone polysyllabic platitudes about kindness, compassion, and mind before a crowd of adoring self-absorbed imbeciles hoping to find Nirvana in the words of a glutton and a psychotic. In all fairness, most of their fawning public are simple ignoramuses, or just simple.

I’ve written a god-awful passel of words describing the cruelties applied by His Holiness, The Richard Davidson in the labs of his cronies Ned Kalin and Steve Shelton, and have ranted at extraordinary length about the hypocrisies of Tenzin Gyatso, the child who was taken from his parents and indoctrinated into the belief that he is the literal reincarnation of Avalokitesvara, the Buddha of Compassion.

An easy observation in all of this is the unavoidable conclusion that Tibetan Buddhism is a sham. A lifetime of practice and intense study of its tenets leads nowhere. It results in absolutely no increase in kindness or compassion. When adherents do act with greater compassion, they do so in spite of their practice.

Anyway, you can read some of my past rants related to the two demigods mentioned above here:

My Enlightening Meeting with Lama Lhundub Sopa. April 15, 2007.

Group Asks the Dalai Lama to Renounce Support for Animal Cruelty. April 25, 2007.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a Callous Prick. May 10, 2007.

The Buddha of Compassion. May 19, 2007.

His Mental-ness. June 14, 2007.

Dalai Lama Disciple Makes Big Discovery! July 26, 2007.

Cruel Buddhist Sick Shrink. August 16, 2007.

Compassion and Kindness Redefined. October 24, 2007.

A Bad Trip. November 10, 2007.

Richard Davidson's Mushy-Headedness. April 13, 2008.

The 2008 PNIRS Conference. May 30, 2008.

"For the Record." June 17, 2008.

Looking at Richard Davidson's Assertions. June 24, 2008.

Trait-like anxious temperament in primates. July 8, 2008.

Memories of Dorothy and Intent. September 27, 2008.

Richard Davidson's Choices Are Evidence That Thinking Good Thoughts Won’t Make You a Good Person. February 3, 2009.

Richard Davidson. March 20, 2009.

Richard Davidson Big Bucks. September 1, 2009.

Center for Investigating Healthy Minds. April 25, 2010.