Sadly, no one should be surprised that another chimpanzee has died from neglect at The Coulston Foundation (TCF). On June 6, 2001, a whistleblower at TCF reported that Gina, a young female, died after being "locked outside in searing heat for hours" according to Eric Kleiman of In Defense of Animals.
Nineteen months after the gruesome death of Donna, a 36-year old female chimpanzee that had been carrying a dead fetus in her womb, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued its fourth set of formal charges against TCF for violations of the Federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). In these charges one of the two deaths of a chimpanzee named Ray who was "owned" by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) yet left at TCF. These charges also document countless violations of the settlement agreement signed by the USDA and Coulston in August of 1999.
NIH is quietly trying to avoid accountability for its actions at TCF-be it the 15 negligent primate deaths, millions of wasted taxpayer dollars or misleading the Congress and American public for years. NIH claims it halted funding to TCF because its "Statement of Assurance" is no longer valid. NIH makes billions of dollars of tax funds available to its grantee institutions to conduct experiments on animals, but it relies on institutions to inspect themselves. "We're not policemen," NIH spokesmen have indignantly insisted.
The flagrant neglect and intense suffering inflicted on TCF chimpanzees who have so conspicuously served our country is brushed aside by NIH as "routine business as usual."