Running monkeys and typing cows, oh my!

Running monkeys and typing cows, oh my!

Government agencies spent $8 million to put 12 primates on treadmills in Texas and paid $30,000 in fines for a host of federal violations, including performing a necropsy on a baboon that was still alive.

The Southwest National Primate Research Center, in San Antonio, received grants from the National Institutes of Health to run the study. Over the past decade, the facility collected nearly $70 million from various federal agencies.

During the same period, the center was slapped with more than $30,000 in penalties for abuse. The U.S. Department of Agriculture identified 14 violations of the Animal Welfare Act at the center over a two-year span.

The Primate Center headlined “Wastebook 2015,” the latest compendium of dubious government projects.

The newest installment of the annual catalog launched by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., “Wastebook 2015: The Farce Awakens” contains 101 examples of “egregious, outrageous and unnecessary” government spending.

“Each represents thousands, millions or, in some cases, billions of dollars that could have been better spent on cancer research, strengthening national defense, caring for veterans, or not spent at all to reduce our debt,” said Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.

“Wastebook” zeroed in on another Texas boondoggle — a $10,000 cow-themed puppet show in Houston.

Tapping into a $100,000 taxpayer-funded grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Discover Green Conservancy hosted “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type.”

The chief prop at this putatively educational activity was — wait for it — “an actual typewriter (that youngsters) are able to see and touch.” Wow! What a contraption!

In a starring role, puppet cows take over the keyboard to type grievances and demands to “Farmer Brown.”

Despite the NEA grant, admission to the show cost $16.50.

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Kenric Ward

Kenric Ward

Kenric Ward is a national correspondent and writes for the Texas Bureau of Formerly a reporter and editor at two Pulitzer Prize-winning newspapers, Kenric has won dozens of state and national news awards for investigative articles. His most recent book is “Saints in Babylon: Mormons and Las Vegas.”


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