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Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Victory! Reprieve for NYU Monkeys

Written by PETA | March 28, 2008

Update: The Lehman monkeys—Wanda, Holly, Jada, Sophie, Samantha, and Lilly—have all arrived safely at a sanctuary and are currently living together as a group. In a little while, they’ll be integrated into a larger group of macaques at the sanctuary. Hooray!

Last month, a whistleblower contacted PETA to tell us that six monkeys who were about to be retired to a sanctuary from City University of New York’s Lehman College had instead been sold to New York University for invasive neurological experiments.

The monkeys had originally been used in non-invasive learning and memory experiments in an NIH-funded laboratory overseen by one Dr. Karyl Swartz, who drew up a plan and set aside funds for the monkeys to live out the rest of their lives at a primate sanctuary. Enter the villain of this particular story, a lady named Christina Winnicker, who evidently objected to the plan and asked the experimental oversight committee to keep or sell the monkeys for further experimentation, despite the strong objections of Dr. Swartz and her colleagues. As a result, the monkeys were sold to an NYU laboratory for experiments that would likely have involved removing the tops of their skulls and implanting electrodes in their heads.

Anyway, as you’ve probably guessed from the title here, this one has a happy ending: After asking some pointed questions of both institutions, we received confirmation last week that Lehman College had thought better of their decision to sell these animals to NYU where they may have had their brains butchered. They’re now working with NYU to get them transferred to a sanctuary instead.

Which certainly brightened my day a bit.

Wanda and Jada, before being transferred from the Lehman laboratory.
Wanda_and_Jada.JPG

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  • kasha says:

    omg awsome . i love animals and the crulty makes me want to cry. how can the do that to a living animal. but awsome that there ok now

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Hi Ana so true. Let me tell you you made the right decision. Taking a 2 year program to get licensed as a tech was no picnic but the unspeakable deeds I did were not nearly as bad as what vets have to do. Vets wind up being slaves to the dollar and “mentors” who get to decide who passes the school’s requirements. It’s ugly. And yes the AVMA was a source of constant agony and caused me and many others to rip out our hair on a regular basis. Very frustrating. Let’s hope for some change!!

  • Ana says:

    Hi Maya! In other words vets who had integrity and were compassionate lose money and hence their livelihood. Shameful!!! This is an indictment against human society the dollar is their god. I did consider continuing with vet studies but then gave it up because of familial obligations but it is disheartening to read about how those that are supposed to care for the other animals brutalize and betray them. The AVMA is a joke. This association gives their approval on any type of atrocity committed against animals rodeos slaughterhouse practices vivisection DECLAWING and other abominations too numerous to name. It all boils down to the desire for MONEY and APATHY for the other animals. Peace!

  • lynda downie says:

    Thank you Pamela. What a lovely thing to say. All the best.

  • Jessica Weizmann says:

    YES! THANKS PETA FOR THE GREAT NEWS!

  • erika says:

    this great news for these monkeys. they are a part of the lucky few. hopefully those numbers will rise.

  • Jill says:

    This is EXCELLENT news.

  • indycar01 says:

    like i said before animal research doesnt benefit humans anymore than lawnmower studies benefit car or racing engines visit. siav.org mrmcmed.org pcrm.org ps. richard w you rock man!.. hope ta see ya at this years 500!..

  • Pamela L. says:

    Hello Lynda Downey Thank You. I recognize youalso as a very kind caring and compassionae individual.

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Ana I agree. I left the profession because it did not match my values and all other techs and vets who care about animals are leaving the clinics. Unfortunately it’s the good vets who go out of business local vet who rescued and neutered stray cats? Went out of business. Local vet who refuesed to declaw cats went out of business. Local vet who gave free medicine and care for wild animals went out of business. Vet who specializes in breeder’s pets guarantees plenty of “litters” from their “bitches”….she bought a new Saab and sent both of her kids to vet school. When our society begins valuing rescuing strays over breeding pets that’s when the good vets will be able to stay in business.

  • Jessie says:

    This just made my day! It gives me hope that all the hard work everyone does really pays off for these beautiful creatures! Way to go Peta and Way to go everyone who took action!

  • Amber Falobas says:

    Awww!! YAY!

  • Ana says:

    Winniker calls herself an animal advocate? I hate to think what even more cruel horrors would await the animals if she hated them. kelly I agree. The vet profession is not what it should be so the animals keep on suffering unspeakable cruelty and violence. Only a horrible death ends their nightmarish hell on earth.

  • lynda downie says:

    This is wonderful news. No doubt people like Pamela L above post had a hand in them ‘thinking better of their decision’. Thank you Pamela et al. Really reading the link with her name it comes as no surprise that Winniker wanted to squeeze all she could out of these innocent lives. She says that “We need animals to help find cures to help animal and humans”. She’s not an ally for the animals at all.

  • RICHARD W. says:

    THANK GOD PETA STEPPED IN AND STOPPED THIS. I WORK AT N.Y.U MEDICAL CENTER AND I WAS ASHAMED AT THE HOSPITAL TRYING TO GET THESE POOR ANIMALS FOR TESTING! AND YES IT WAS MOST LIKELY FOR BRAIN RESEARCH I KNOW BECAUSE I WORK IN THE PSYCHIATRIC FLOOR AND WE ARE PART OF THE NEUROPSYCHIATRIC DEPT.WHICH DOES SUCH EXPERIMENTS.I AM GLAD TO BE NEW MEMBER OF PETA! ROCK ON!

  • monica says:

    I know they will be enjoying life more!! I still cant understand human relationship with animals.. Humans are sick

  • Animal luvor says:

    That’s crazy

  • Sandra Carr says:

    I’m thankful the animals were saved from misery!

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Aw they’re so cute! I hope we get to see pics of them at the sanctuary….

  • Frances Peà says:

    Is good news we have victory in freeing monkeys hope that this will continue to the other animals and justice was done to these unfortunates. Frances Pea 16 years Puerto Rico

  • kelly says:

    I’d love to hear their explanation of why they hire someone like Christina Winnicker What else is going on in those labs? The veterinary profession has been soiled by proabuse members that work on behalf of animal abusers’ profits not the animals.

  • Dogwalker says:

    Christina Winnicker for Vivisector of the Week!

  • Molly says:

    Thank you PETA. May the remainder of their lives be happy and healthy!

  • Pamela L. says:

    Being very involved in this action alert I am elated in this change of events. Positive change for all animals is in my prayers every day. I know I am being heard. Wanda and Jada deserved no less. We must all forge on with our letters emails and phone calls.

  • Mary says:

    What wonderful news. God bless everybody involved in saving these angels. Happy retirement babies.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    In the link Christina Winnicker is quoted as saying “We are the animals’ advocates and we’re here to make sure they are healthy and treated properly.” What total BS.

  • Canaduck says:

    Thank goodness!!

  • VonGiese80 says:

    That’s awesome!!! Way to go PETA….’yall rule!

  • keith says:

    Jack. Just been reading the profile of that Winnicker woman. if she reckons she is the animals Advocate! what chance is there for any laboratory creature. I would say the Devils Advocate fits the bill perfectly. Anyway good news of these Guys. please keep us informed about the sanctuary.. thank you.

  • Ana says:

    It will be a victory when the monkeys finally reach the sanctuary. Right now negotiations are not definitive. Will PETA continue to follow if the monkeys actually reach their destination to a proper santuary? When it is a done deal then I will celebrate.

  • Russell says:

    wonderfull!

  • Holly says:

    This is Great News I am so very Happy to hear it. Thank You to everyone who was involved in saving these peaceful friends.