Britches

Britches (born March 1985) is a stump-tailed macaque monkey who was born into a breeding colony at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). He was removed from his mother at birth, had his eyelids sewn shut, and had an electronic sonar device attached to his heada Trisensor Aid, an experimental version of a blind travel aid, the Sonicguideas part of a three-year sensory-deprivation study involving 24 infant monkeys. The experiments were designed to study the behavioral and neural development of monkeys reared with a sensory substitution device. Acting on a tip-off from a student, the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) removed Britches from the laboratory on April 20, 1985, when he was five weeks old. The raid also saw the theft of 467 mice, cats, opossums, pigeons, rabbits, and rats, and a reported $700,000-worth of damage to equipment. A spokesman for the university said that allegations of animal mistreatment were absolutely false, and that the raid caused long-term damage to its research projects. The ALF handed the video of their raid over to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which released it. The NIH conducted an eight-month investigation into the animal care program at the university and concluded it was an appropriate program, and that no corrective action was necessary. The study was conducted by psychologist David H. Warren. Five groups of four macaques were to be raised from birth to three months, and one group to six months, blinded while wearing a Trisensor Aid. Other control groups were to wear the device with normal vision, or wear a dummy device with no vision. At the end of the experiment, the monkeys were to be killed, and the visual, auditory and motor areas n their brains would be studied. According to PETA's president Ingrid Newkirk, based on papers found in the lab by the ALF, the UCR researchers wrote that performing the study by artificially blinding the monkeys was necessary because there were insufficient numbers of blind human infants within driving distance of Riverside. The researchers did not want to conduct the study in the homes of blind children because of the difficulty of carrying out the research amid routine household chores, according to Newkirk. Newkirk writes that the ALF was alerted to the laboratory's work by a student who had reported the Britches' situation to an animal protection group, Last Chance for Animals. An ALF contact volunteering there heard the complaint, and approached the student for more information. On April 21, 1985, ALF activists, including Sally S, a businesswoman in her mid-30s, broke into the laboratory and removed Britches along with around 467 other animals, taking footage of the burglary, which they handed anonymously to PETA. Activists say they found Britches, who was given his name by the researchers, alone in a cage with bandages around his eyes and a sonar device attached to his head. The device emitted a high-pitched noise every few minutes. He was clinging to a device covered in towelling that had two fake nipples attached, apparently intended to serve as a surrogate mother. He was handed to an ALF volunteer, a woman, who drove him from California to Utah, where he was examined by a retired pediatrician. According to UCR officials, the ALF also smashed equipment resulting in nearly $700,000-worth of damage. Theodore Hullar, UCR's executive vice chancellor, said the researchers' work had been set back year