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Help Shine a Light on OHSU's National Primate Research Center

A bill to expand reporting requirements for primate research centers in Oregon will be considered Thursday by a committee in the Oregon House of Representatives. Please support this bill by submitting written comments here.

House Bill 2904 is directed primarily at OHSU's National Primate Research Center, which conducts research on nearly 5,000 primates at its center in Beaverton. The bill would require facilities that perform research, testing or studies on primates to submit annual reports to the state including information such as the number of primates used, animal deaths, and details on how the animals were used.

Written comments on the bill will be accepted until 1 p.m. Saturday, but it's best to get them in before the hearing at 1 p.m. Thursday if you can. Here are some suggested talking points:

  • Requiring primate research centers to report information to the state will promote transparency on a matter of public concern.

  • Lack of transparency in primate research risks more cruel and negligent treatment of the animals and unnecessary deaths.

  • Since OHSU's primate center receives funding from federal grants, taxpayers are entitled to know more about what the center is doing.

  • OHSU's primate research center has been cited in the past for serious violations of animal welfare laws, which justifies great public scrutiny.

Thanks to Representative David Gomberg and Representative Anna Scharf for being the chief sponsors of HB 2904. Representative Gomberg took a greater interest in OHSU’s operation in 2021, after the Oregon secretary of state’s office said it could not audit the center because the center doesn’t receive state funding. Gomberg then made a public records request for records relating to the two monkeys who had been killed in a cage-washing incident and was charged $1,000 for the records, which took 17 months to produce. His bill now would require more transparency and allow the public to know more about what kind of operation their federal tax dollars are funding.

For more information on OHSU's treatment of primates and violations of animal welfare laws, see articles here and here.

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