PETA Complaint Prompts NIH to Demand Grant Repayment for Monkey Experiments

October 2008

In response to a complaint from PETA, the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute ordered the University of Connecticut Health Center (UCHC) to return more than $65,000 in federal grant money in January 2008. The money had been used in the laboratory of David Waitzman for experiments that violated animal welfare laws. Waitzman drilled holes into monkeys’ skulls, implanted steel coils into their eyes, and inflicted brain damage to cause the monkeys to lose control of their eye movements. The U.S. Department of Agriculture cited UCHC for more than 20 violations of the Animal Welfare Act–most of which were prompted by PETA complaints–in less than a year. These included one incident in which a monkey was choked so hard with a chain-link collar that his eyes bled and another in which UCHC failed to relieve the suffering of a monkey who for over eight months experienced seizures, tremors, and headaches. That monkey eventually died from a heart attack while being experimented on.

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind