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Undercover Activists at Oregon Primate Research

[The Oregonian - opinion]

For the second time in a decade, an animal-rights activist has slipped past employment screeners at the Oregon National Primate Research Center, taken a job as a monkey handler and accused the facility of routinely abusing animals.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a national animal-rights group, planted one of its undercover investigators at the Hillsboro center from April 9 to July 25, officials at the nonprofit told The Oregonian.

The investigator, whom neither PETA nor the primate center would identify, took a job as an animal husbandry technician and secretly took notes and shot video to document her complaints. PETA will formalize her accusations today in a complaint to federal regulators.
The center, which hires about 50 employees a year, improved job screening by adding a full criminal background check and asking applicants and their references whether they think animals should be used in medical research.

"If they come here with a clean criminal history and they lie about their interest and the reason they're here," Conn said, "there's not a lot you can do."

PETA's director of research, Kathy Guillermo, defended the group's use of undercover investigators at biomedical facilities.

"If the laboratories would open their doors and let us in, we would certainly rather do it that way," she said. "Unfortunately what we find over and over and over again is that the doors are shut tight."

-- Bryan Denson: 503-294-7614

full story: 11/_the_oregon_national_primate.html

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