- Associated Press - Monday, January 13, 2014

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - It’s true. He does kill monkeys in his business.

And those dead monkeys mean advances in human health.

Mark Crane is second in command at the West Coast’s largest monkey lab, located in Everett.

The former Connecticut high school health teacher turned corporate vice president said the animal-rights activists who protest outside the biomedical research facility should reflect more on what happens inside.

SNBL USA, Crane said, is saving people’s lives through medical innovation.

The Japanese-owned company tests pharmaceutical drugs on monkeys and also breeds the primates for sale to other scientific researchers.

“We’re one of the few (groups of) people who can say we’re in the monkey business,” Crane said.

SNBL’s U.S. headquarters in Everett sit on a 29-acre site tucked behind tall trees and security fencing along Seaway Boulevard. A Shinto shrine stands outside, honoring animals used in research.

The facility, which currently houses 1,200 monkeys, has room for up to 4,000. That’s in addition to hundreds of rabbits and dogs, and thousands of rodents.

The purpose-bred animals live and die in captivity. Researchers use them in the development of new drugs.

Last month SNBL again came under fire after animal-rights activists obtained documents detailing the deaths of 40 monkeys at the company’s Texas breeding facility from 2010 to 2012.

“When you’re killing animals, that’s not supportive of their care,” said Michael Budkie with the Ohio-based group Stop Animal Exploitation Now.

Since coming to Everett in 1999, SNBL has kept a low profile and its operations behind closed doors.

“There’s a whole lot more to the story than ‘They kill monkeys in there,’ ” Crane told The Herald during a visit to the facility last month.

SNBL, Crane said, embraces the same ethic that guides medical doctors - do no harm.

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