Skip to Main Content

Was the ONPRC Let Off the Hook?

Written by PETA | December 5, 2007

You may remember the uproar surrounding our recent investigation into the Oregon National Primate Research Center, which found apparent violations of animal protection laws and monkeys who were living in constant fear, confined to small cages and traumatized by rough handling. Well, the latest news we’re hearing from Oregon is that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is charged with responding to animal abuse complaints such as this one, has investigated the ONPRC and come up with nothing. A representative of ONPRC, Michael Conn, responded to these reports with the following little piece of Orwellian spin:

“Our business involves offering hope to people with disease. My colleagues and I will not be deterred by extremist organizations or those who choose to campaign based on false information and harassment.”

The “false information” that Mr. Conn is referring to is incontrovertible video evidence from a painstaking four-month investigation that yielded extensive documentation of abuse, mishandling, and bad practice at the institution. What he means by “harassment,” I can only assume, is the fact that PETA dared to bring the ONPRC’s dirty secrets to the attention of the public. And, of course, when Conn talks about “offering hope to people with disease,” he is presumably referring to the fact that his organization takes the public’s money to perform redundant and inconclusive experiments on defenseless animals—including injecting pregnant monkeys with nicotine and killing their babies to investigate just how bad smoking is for you, and psychologically abusing infant primates to study whether trauma is traumatic.

PETA’s Director of Research, Kathy Guillermo, responded to these reports today with the following letter to the editor. Check it out, and then watch the video of our investigation for yourself to decide whether the primate center deserves anything short of being shut down forever.


If the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) really has found no problems at the primate center, either the law needs to change or the inspectors do. The evidence gathered by PETA’s investigator was shattering: Monkeys screamed in terror as employees chased them around gang cages, grabbed them and pinned their arms behind their backs. An infant monkey, taken from her own mother rocked inconsolably on the floor of a cage, clutching her arm—her only source of comfort. Monkeys, cornered in their small cages, couldn’t escape the needle-sharp spray of high pressure hoses. Animals driven mad by confinement and isolation whirled in their cages, unable to find comfort. See video of all this at

More likely, this is a shameful whitewash by the primate center, and this inspection is just one part of a larger, ongoing investigation. It would be impossible to examine fully—in just 2 days—every example of abuse PETA’s investigator documented. USDA inspectors normally spend many, many months, reviewing documents, photos and video, and interviewing the whistleblower.

The real tragedy is that the primate center continues to make disingenuous excuses rather than taking meaningful action to alleviate the terrible suffering witnessed by PETA’s investigator.


Kathy GuillermoDirector of Research

Other Viewing Options

Commenting is closed.
  • Caboose says:

    Whos to say that GOD isnt a holy figure but a war ravaging demon who likes death and destruction? and viceversa

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    Thank You Carla. We shall continue fighting the good fight… Judith

  • Kathleen says:

    Hey steveI would just like to let you know i called mars company today to let them know how disgusted I was about there animal testing and the spokeswoman actually denied the whole thing and gave me an attitude like i was crazy. so my question is …..was that your wife???

  • 007 says:

    Thank you Michelle. Truth is ONLY those of “sound minds and pure hearts” can fully understand and truly appreciate an intelligent and enlightening posts such as yours and the many other like posts throughout these files concerning the horrific plight of test animals and all other animal abuse issues. the heartless and relentless drivel and opposing blather of the “insignificant others” IMO are null and void!

  • Caboose says:

    Kimberly AKA Marriage

  • Kimberly says:


  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Good post Michele. A lot of people who support animal testing think they’re putting human interests first when in fact they are actually promoting the suffering of humans. Their stubbornness blinds them to the truth.

  • Michele says:

    Jacob medical advancements have NOT been made from animal research. ALL medical advancements occurred through nonanimal methods primarily autopsy clinical observation and in vitro test tube testing. There are also now more modern techniques that are just adding to what has worked in the past. If you don’t believe me read “Sacred Cows and Golden Geese”. Animal testing actually HARMS humans. There are over 100000 deaths in the U.S. every year from drugs that were “proven” to be safe in animal tests which is more than the deaths from all illegal drugs combined. Any animal research that supposedly comes up with a cure or that “proves” a relationship between a substance and a resultant disease has only been done AFTER the same results have been found in nonanimal research. More than 90 of drugs that were “proven” safe in animal tests end up failing in tests on humans. Humans and nonhumans do have similarities but not enough for any research to be applicable between the species. Penicillin may never have been discovered if researchers had been required by law to do animal testing at that time because it was found to be harmful in several nonhuman species. Thalidomide caused birth defects in over 10000 children before it was taken off the market because animal testing kept showing that the drug was “safe”. So the drug continued to be prescribed even though the birth defects kept occurring. The relationship between asbestos and cancer was proven with clinical observation in humans NOT with animal testing. The same thing happened with cigarette smoking. Scientists have compared the results of animal testing to a “crapshoot” is that what you want to rely on to help your grandfather father or any other family member? Scientists have wasted billions and billions of dollars and decades of time curing cancer in mice. True cures for cancer and AIDS could be found much sooner if nonanimal methods of research were funded to the same extent as animal testing. It’s all about $$$ for the pharmaceutical industry the researchers the scientists on the payroll of the journals and the companies who benefit from the testing for example those who make the cages in which the animals are kept and the companies who breed the billions of mice and rats that ultimately become test “subjects”. Anyway that is just a brief explanation for a very complicated issue. The bottom line is that the value of animal testing is a MYTH perpetuated by those who have a vested interest in doing so. People who are uninformed simply keep repeating the myth because they do not know any better. If you are not up to reading an entire book about it there is a website called with numerous topics.

  • Dana says:

    We all agree that the USDA is living up to what they are suppose to be doing on any spectrum of the field. The organization as a whole is not much different than any other aspects of the government that have became corrupt. I was shocked during the last big meat recall that the USDA had the nerve to say we did our job that is how we caught the problem and called for a recall….eek no you did not catch the problem it took people getting sick to sound the alert and if they were doing their job not one piece of meat would need recalled. This gentleman from the USDA also said that they are working on making it to where if a slaughterhouse is violating regulations they have the authority to shut it down on the spot…excuse me should that not already be the chain of command? Somewhere along the way mostly during the Regan administration the USDA lost control and the Meat industry took over. Same can be said for the animal research labs considering that our tax paying dollars are going into grants given to them by our lovely government to stay afloat. The USDA has no control any longer in my honest opinion the big guns in Washington are not one bit concerned about the animals…Bush proved that by his choice of the head of the agriculture department the one that had deep ties to the meat industry. As for labs Bush apparently thinks highly of research labs why else would he come out with ecoterrorism so and name the ALF one of the top terrorist groups in the country….who we place in office is the only hopes of change…This struggle will always come down to Greed and profit unfortunately as long as those to things are achievable through animal suffering the big wigs in our government are not going to make the changes we so badly want. The sad part is you see it everyday greed not only rules over the animals well being but humans as well. Every time meat is recalled you know that profit matters more than human health every time toys are recalled you see that money over rules child safety and every time a bridge or road way collapses you know that tax money going to insure road safety is being used to line some elses pocket…Katrina was another good example of our tax dollars going to waste. Other than trying to place the people in office that we think has our platform in mind I am not sure what the solution is..we have to pay taxes and we have no control over where they are really going. It makes me sick that my hard earned money goes to fund slaughterhouses and labs which leads straight to animal suffering.. At this point though I just do not have the greatest solution…of course this year I will vote for the candidates that I think hold some of my values in mind but that is not guarantee that I will find the changes I am hoping for.

  • jacob says:

    I’m with jaclyn. There is no way that this could possibly be an obviously edited video to show abuse and since investigations have proven nothing then of course there must be a mass conspiracy that climbs the farthest reaches of the government and consequentially we should have a complete government overhaul to remove those meat eating commie bastards. The fact of the matter is that if one or a thousand monkeys have to go through medical research to save my grandfather from cancer or tuberculosis or save my dad or any family member then I am all for it. Countless medical advancements have been made due to animal research and I am all for continuing it. I doubt any of you would turn down a heart transplant method that was developed through animal research.

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    Thank you Ana I have my ignore button on…. USDA must be brought down!!!!

  • mlo says:

    Hey Steve Put your foot where your mouth is and go undercover for PETA. I dare you! Go visit a slaughterhouse and see for yourself. Or at least watch the HBO movie “I Am Animal”. Don’t sit in your little box and tell us how sensible you are when you turn a blind eye to what is real.

  • Dana says:

    Steve let me call you out on this one…..when the topic of crates came up you are welcome to go back and READ it….I did not 100 agree with peta…there is a major difference between not agreeing and totally being on the opposite side of the fence.

  • Melodie says:

    My comments and thoughts are superbly stated in Dana’s post on December 6th 2007 1145 am.

  • mary margaret says:

    Here is a thought. Try human experimentation on prisoners. It is a win win situation. Decrease prision overcrowding and get real human results in the experiments. Leave the animals alone or there will come a great storm global cleansing which will wash people who exploit torture animals off the face of the Earth forever. MAM

  • ma moore says:

    There is nothing natural about keeping animals in warehouse type cages where they have no natural social interactons no sunlight and no normal ADLs. Therefore since they are trying to prove a correlation between acitve humans and monkeys the research and findings are completely invalid. No humans are kept in cages and tormented in this fashion. The scientific results are scewed and invalid. Studying animals in their natural habitat is the only way to draw positive correlations and valid conclusions in the name of science. MA Moore

  • foxy says:

    steve incredible but true … this time you got it!

  • Michele says:

    Common sense steve there is no need to “yell” it does not make your comments any more believable. Anyway to respond YOU believe that you’re the one who is always right as do most of the anti’s posting on this site…



  • Jaclyn says:

    Dana I feel you girl.

  • Maureen says:

    To Anonymous ABUSE maltreat hurt harm misuse oppress injure take advantage of……. If you do not see any of this happening in the video then you should change blogs!

  • Carla says:

    USDA continues to pat the ONPRC on their backs and others alike cause they have simular interests and that they like to spend our money NEEDLESSLY!!! “People with diseases” get with the times you lazy Bastards!! I’ll help you Judith!

  • Ana says:

    USDA United States Depraved Authority

  • Old Spiderwoman says:

    common nonsense steve i think that your head is full of crap if you continue in that way i shall give you elf and alf on your bare naked ass at six o’clock in the morning with a sharp willop twig you drooling thumbsucker!

  • Ana says:

    Judith Mike is right about ignoring AnonymousMars. The animals are the important ones not stupid fools like Mars. Animal Liberation !!!!!

  • Dana says:

    Common sense Steve Use a little of that common sense you claim to have when making statements. You are one of those types that just can not even believe it when you see it……….why dont you go undercover so that you can see for yourself that this is the way our world works…animals are an afterthought…the suffering of animals offers profit and just incase you have not looked outside of your box in awhile GREED runs this country. Sometimes I just get so angry with all that is going on that I just dont know what to do anymore…I am so sick of these uncompassionate idiots that live in the world around me and really think that animals going through hell is not that big of a deal. I agree with Dr. Best anything that feels pain should have rights!!!!!!!! Why do so many people think that this kind of torture is ok…these animals feel pain stress and humans are the horrible creatures to think that just because they are animals and not superior humans that this hell on earth is ok. It breaks my heart to see these innocent creatures being tortured in such away..This just overwhelms me with not only grief but a feeling of helplessness the problem is so big…the amount of people that actually give a crap seems small in comparison to the ones that dont…Laws are not changing fast enough because face it as long as money is to be made at these poor creatures expense the problem will continue to grow…The facts are all added up on animal testing and is proven not to work every time a certain medication is recalled or someone one dies. People find a false sense of security in animals testing but they never stop to think that we are not designed like them at all. Monkeys for sure get the worse end of the deal due to the fact that they make up 97 percent of our DNA pattern….people will never accept the fact that we evolved from moneys in evolution but they have no problem bringing pain and suffering to them because they are our closest in DNA pattern………One day somehow all you heartless people will be paid back preferably your punishment will go according to the punishment that you have placed on this creatures so then you will know exactly what it is like to feel helplessness pain and lack of understand for why some other creature can possibly place you in such a unthinkable situation……..

  • kelly says:

    The USDA is diseased. It’s a corrupt organization that forgets that it works for the taxpayer and the citizen. The USDA believes that it works FOR people like this and puppy millers and horse slaughterhouses and other assorted criminals. The USDA believes that its job is to COLLUDE with these businesses and protect them and HELP THEM break American laws. And that is by the admission of USDA employees and inspectors! Just take a look at this article about how the USDA helps the puppy mills httpwww.michiganhumane.orgsiteNews2?pageNewsArticleid8928 There needs to be major change at the USDA. It’s operating like a foreign power in our government system.

  • Rae says:

    I’m very curious. Knowing about the revolving door at the USDA do we know if a former director or board member of ONPRC is currently with the USDA or has access to someone at the USDA? The whole system needs an overhaul. The industries are regulating themselves.

  • Ricky says:

    We need now demand that our lawmakers do something. The USDA is going to do nothing to a federally funded operation. The video shows the abuse and yet a blind eye is turned by the agency responsible for doing something. I will be contacting my Senators and Congressman regarding this matter. Something needs to happen to help those animals.

  • common sense steve says:

    hey i have an amazing possibility… just maybe peta was full of crap with their allegations and the supposed undercover videos were just edited propaganda!!!!!!!

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    This is terrible….. That little one just needs to be held just like we hold our human babies and talk quietly to himher. GOD he is terrified. The USDA are sadists they are horrible just awful. They care about nothing but money. Their motto is “Greed is Good.” They do not give damn about these poor scared babies or the poor Farm Animals. They should all be charged with cruelty to animals. I feel like breaking in and rescuing the babies. This is just awful awful awful.

  • Anonymous says:

    Maybe because what you would consider abuse is in fact not.

  • Maureen says:

    If these people are saying this is quite all right to do to monkeys then what on earth do they consider to be cruel!! The mind boggles.