One died of an overdose. Two from water deprivation. And one was unintentionally strangled while playing with a toy designed to enrich the lives of research animals. The means varied but the results were the same: 4 monkey deaths at Harvard Medical School research centers since 2011. After a lengthy investigation, the Department of Agriculture fined Harvard $24,000 for repeated animal welfare violations, specifically the mistreatment of primates at its animal research labs in Massachusetts.
Harvard announced in April that it will shut down its New England Primate Research center by 2015. The University's smaller facility in the Longwood Medical Area in Boston will continue to operate. That facility houses 45 primates.