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Primate Laboratory Gets Put on Notice

Written by PETA | March 12, 2009
One of the monkeys who was abused for experiments at ONPRC

It’s been awhile since we last mentioned the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC). But even though ONPRC hasn’t been in our blog, it’s been very much on our minds, and there are encouraging new developments to report.

For those of you who have hit-and-miss memories like mine, here’s a quick recap: Our 2007 undercover investigation at ONPRC found that monkeys were tormented by laboratory staffers, forced to eat food out of waste-filled trays, denied medical care or pain relief, and driven mad by horrific laboratory conditions. Still, despite undeniable video evidence, the USDA somehow didn’t see anything wrong at ONPRC.

At that point, ONPRC may have thought that it had won and that we would slink away. But, hey, this is PETA, after all, so think again, monkey abusers!

This past fall, we obtained new internal documents from ONPRC that detailed further abuse and neglect, so we submitted a new complaint to the USDA. In it, we outlined the following incidents:

  • A sick, pregnant monkey was denied veterinary care and pain relief because the experimenters “didn’t know the signs of animal pain and distress” (the mother and her unborn baby both died).
  • A surgical sponge was left inside a baboon and was only discovered after the monkey was killed for an experiment.
  • ONPRC experimenters accidentally performed surgery on the wrong monkey.

Wow. Cold-hearted and inept—a deadly combination.

Based on our complaint, the USDA inspected ONPRC, and this time, it confirmed our allegations. So ONPRC was cited for three violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including causing monkeys trauma, stress, harm or discomfort and failing to adequately monitor and provide veterinary care to animals.

And the agency didn’t stop there: In December, the USDA issued an “official warning” to ONPRC that it may face civil or criminal penalties if additional violations are found in the future.

It’s a hopeful sign of progress, but we’re hardly done with ONPRC. After all, these incidents are only a small part of the cruelty still being inflicted on the more than 4,000 primates there.

Written by Jeff Mackey

Commenting is closed.
  • Robyn says:

    It’s unbelievable the amount of persistence it takes for justice to be done! Although this is a small victory there is so much more of this going on and as long as the USDA continues to fight clear evidence of abuse with such incredible obstinacy the farther apart the victories will come. Peta is remarkable for accomplishing such feats without their hard hard work we would never see any end to animal cruelty!

  • viv says:

    It’s a relief to know that actions are being done for these poor animals. Please keep up the good work PETA!

  • Athena Gerber says:

    One day when nature fights back these excuse for humans that have no regard for anything living and probably no self respect will take the fall and there will be nobody there to help them. The day the experiments take revenge will be a day recorded in history.

  • Ashley says:

    Thats just sad I mean no animal deserve to be treated bad I realize what the world is doing to animals thinks to PETA which is a good thing. Before PETA i thought that everything was okay and now I don’t people need to stop killing and abuseing animals. Or theres going to be no more animals left on earth for us.

  • Rita Cross says:

    When will the madness end? Lots to do still but progress is being made as I write! PETA keep up the pressure!!

  • Miqueline Grant says:

    I was sickened by what I saw and believe everyone should be made aware of what happens to these poor animals. Please keep up the good work.

  • Kim Duncan says:

    Why does research torture? This has gone on for far too long and it’s all for the allmighty dollar. It’s unbelievable to me that over 4000 innocent souls are being tortured at this facility. It’s past time to close this place down.

  • K says:

    It is a beginning and now with a “new administration” we can put more pressure on to end the keeping of these primates entirely illegal. Keep up the GREAT work PETA.

  • giovanna says:

    horrible! It is the time that man stop torture the animals! Giovanna italia

  • Preeti Kaur says:

    i wish for a cruelty free world for animals.

  • lisa salazar says:

    This barbaric cruelty to innocent animals is horrific! Great job PETA! These dispicable “researchers” need the same torture done to them.

  • Dorothy Roche says:

    I was appalled by the treatment of these monkeys by ONPRC. Instead of penalizing ONPRC they should be totally shut down. Maybe if the workers and people at ONPRC were put in cages such as the monkeys and treated heinously as they are they might think twice about what they are doing.

  • Lesley Scott says:

    I was once told by the Director of the Animal Labortory Researce at MUSC that there are many animal studies with no relevance to helping modern medicine. They just keep repeating the same torture one involved setting monkeys on fire using kerosine just one example. The goals is to receive as much money as possible from Federal Grants! It’s too bad humans don’t experience the ultimate degredation and torture that these intellegent loving animals endure! Keep up the good work! Lesley Scott

  • Denise says:

    What is it that makes people tick? I just can’t understand how a person could inflict such horrific acts on our animals. What is it about killing maiming or torturing animals that make people do it? There are no words that can express the sadness I feel. Let’s hope for a better future for all of our animals.

  • Denise says:

    What has become of people? How can a person harm a harmless defensless animal? It breaks my heart what is being done. I only hope that the people who do this gets put in a cage and experimented on. See how they like it!!

  • linda darbidian says:

    All of this sickens me how any one can abuse an animal in this whythe people who do this are cowards and not humanmy heart aches for all the animals in the world that are being abuse.linda

  • Helen Tanguis says:

    The truth shall set you free.

  • SILVIA says:

    Is terriblethink that there are people who may abuse these animals. ISterrible I still can not understand how they can do certain things THAT DISGUST COWARD! sILVIA ITALIA

  • Nici Wasserfall says:

    Oh! It does my heart GOOD! “until EVERY cage is empty..”

  • Ravi Peiris says:

    Please email me if there will be a future email campaign against this organization.

  • grace morlet says:

    Lets leave animals in their natural habitat.

  • Alexia Christopoulou says:

    Great news Jeff and bravo to all the PETA team. Cant wait to see some serious implications to these disgusting appauling people. I really wish there was more aggresive action we could take. Torturing animals is beyond compehension. No excuses.

  • Dove says:

    I would like to see animals rule the world and give humans a taste of their own medicine. Each day it becomes clearer as to who the superior species is. Humans continue to torture plunder the earth and fill their greedy souls with their perspective of superiority. The recent documentary on factory farms ie pigs should be rebroadcast…along with other documentaries. If people cannot handle watching it they have only to look at their own guilt.

  • Lawrence Iorio says:

    God is watching …we need to watch over the animals and protect then.they are not ours to wonder why our world is in such a sad state..animals are innocent.God is offended and deeply hurt.Please protect all animals. Dont harm but love andthem respect them. Lawrence Paul Iorio.

  • ans vredeveld raak says:

    al these people are animal abusers its sad what they do to these monkys and for what there are alternetives .these animals have a richt to live a normel live and not being abused .its horrebul stop this

  • pat long says:

    anyone who reads hears knows the USDA is worthless. Yes but how can we get better people in there?? With a conscience?? I’d like then to have the same treatment they overlook for animals being abused and people being poisoned etc.

  • Julia says:

    I’m pleased but it is not enough. They deserve more than a warning they need to be shut down. Whatever research they’re doing would be deemed invalid anyway by the ineptitude of the process such as leaving sponges INSIDE an animal!

  • Jennifer Masiello says:

    I think hurting animals and the harm that humans do to animals affects how mankind deal with other people. How would you like it if you were stuck in a type of situation like that. I believe it is called a P.O.W or Prisioner of War. But the war needs to end at some point and allow these animals to go back to their habitat and be free like you and I. Thank you for reading this and I hope you take it to heart and make some changes so these animals can live a life of freedom like we all expect to in this one life we have. Sincerely Jennifer Masiello

  • Pasquale De Vivo says:


  • rory oneill says:

    Incredibly horrible this outright torture has gone on so long if at all! Obama needs to step in make a priority!!! Please Obama help.

  • Shelby Painter says:

    I am sickened by what i’ve just deen and resd.. If anyone on here knows how to get more invoved…I want action! let these people be exposed like this…this goes beond crulty…and the dogs??? I had to turn it off…I was sick ad vomited please email me if you have info on how I can become more involved volunteer etc…. T.Y!!!

  • Phyllis says:

    I don’t know how anyone even the dimwits at the USDA could possibly go into a laboratory and NOT see anything wrong. EVERYTHING is WRONG in an animal laboratory EVERYTHING. Animals are driven insane just by the total “lifetime” confinement and they certainly have no provisions made for even the basic comforts. Even after invasive procedures anaesthetized animals are simply thrown back into barren metal cages or left on cement floors to recover or die on their own. I’d like to lock the USDA inspectors in a cage for a week and see if the experience improves their vision.

  • Brien Comerford says:

    Experiment on human stem cells and humans if you TRULY want to cure human illnesses and disabilities. Leave animals alone.

  • Tricia says:

    It’s good news that these animal abusers are finally facing some consequences for their crimes. It’s long overdue.

  • Michael Essi says:

    Has there been a change in administration at the USDA since Obama was elected? I abhor the lack of concern that the USDA has for animals and I am always amazed at how often they let animal abusers off the hook. It is apparent to me that the USDA is corrupt and probably taking money on the side to look the other way. Obama! Please clean house at the USDA!!!!!

  • Mary says:

    How horrible! I have such a hard time understanding how people can act so cruel to animals. I’m definitely glad to hear that the USDA has finally attempted to put an end to abuse ONPRC has put these poor innocent animals through.