2021 was particularly awful year for primates being kept at NeuroSpin. After having left a lone technician to manage two primates who escaped and were fighting “following an operating error with the cages’ padlocks”, those responsible for the animals did not even see that several macaques had not been fed or given water for several days. Not to mention Kimiko, who was killed by staff negligence. One Voice is filing a plea to get NeuroSpin’s authorisation retracted and to allow the animals that are still alive to be rescued.
No need to add anything: the inspection report from 26 March 2021 was very explicit. The NeuroSpin staff were already incapable of correctly caring for the macaques, and they had just shown gross negligence. This was not fatal to the four macaques concerned. Kimiko would not be so ‘lucky’.
A life of suffering
Kimiko is a rhesus monkey, born on 13 July 1999, likely at the Planète Sauvage zoo, or even at the Bioprim company – the documents about her are very vague about the start of her life.
At the age of twelve and a half, she was sold to NeuroSpin, who subjected her to cerebral imaging experiments under general anaesthesia. Two years later, they cemented a bar of metal in her head, to be used in “cognitive tasks” in a constraint chair – experiments carried out without anaesthesia, on this occasion, and so mind-numbing that the laboratory deprived her of water to “motivate” her to obey.
At age twenty, they opened her skull to implant electrodes into her brain. A failure: she went back onto the experimental surgical table for the electrodes to the “reinserted”… which still did not work. Another surgery to take them out. Meanwhile, the experiments continued. A year and a half later, they opened her skull again to put an “imaging chamber” in that would be used to make certain neurones fluorescent for experiments. This was the beginning of the end.
Infections do not take holidays
All is not lost
On 31 March 2022, despite Kimiko’s death and new violations, the Essonne Prefecture re-established NeuroSpin’s authorisation, simply banning them from depriving the macaques of water to make them obey.
It is too late to protect Kimiko. But we are fighting so that what she endured can save the 21 macaques that are still shut up in the cages of this laboratory. To help them, despite the inaction of the Prefect, we have also referred to the Versailles Administrative Tribunal to ask that NeuroSpin’s authorisation be retracted. You can sign our petition to ask for this laboratory to be closed and for the macaques to be placed in a sanctuary.