The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is again targeting Texas Biomed, and its Southqwest National Primate Research Center, erecting a billboard on Culebra Rd. near the center equating animal research with 'murder,' News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"Sensitive, highly intelligent monkeys are caged, cut up, and killed inside Texas Biomed's laboratory, and taxpayers are footing the bill," says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. "PETA is calling on this facility to relinquish these suffering animals to reputable sanctuaries—and urging the National Institutes of Health to stop bankrolling dead-end animal experiments and to divert research funds to superior, non-animal methods."
PETA's billboard will stay up for a month at the corner of Culebra and Loop 410, right in front of the Texas Biomed campus.
Texas Biomed, formerly known as the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, is best known for its primate habitat which can be seen by motorists on Loop 410. Many people simply refer to it as 'the place with the monkeys.'
PETA cites a fine Texas Biomed received from the Department of Agriculture eight years ago after several primates escaped from their cages.
But Texas BioMed says a surprise inspection by USDA officials just last month resulted in a perfect score for animal welfare and care, and in fact "the inspectors commended the staff for its knowledge and commitment to quality animal care."
In a statement, Texas Biomed said, "Texas Biomed is committed to providing animals with excellent, humane care in support of strong, peer-reviewed research. The Institute and SNPRC rigorously adhere to regulations and guidelines established by the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Texas Biomed’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and maintains AAALAC International accreditation, the gold standard for laboratory animal care."
The research facility also stressed that, despite PETA's claims to the contrary, animal research is still the best and most effective way to come up with treatments and cures for the most serious diseases which affect humans today across the globe, from HIV to Ebola.
"Alternatives to animal studies are always considered and utilized when possible, which is also a requirement for obtaining all animal study approvals. Animal studies have contributed to countless medical breakthroughs, including the development of the high frequency ventilator necessary to keep premature infants alive, common treatments for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, HIV therapies that allow people to survive for years despite being infected with this deadly disease, treatments for viral hepatitis that have brought mortality down significantly, promising therapeutics for Ebola, treatments for tuberculosis and other deadly bacterial and viral infections," Texas Biomed said. The list goes on and on..."