Humans aren’t the only primates at risk of catching COVID-19. Although the pathogen that causes it manifests itself differently in monkeys, so they aren’t good experimental “models” for the disease, they’re still susceptible to contracting it.
But while we have numerous ways to protect ourselves (go wash your hands right now), thousands of monkeys imprisoned in laboratories have no line of defense against the deadly novel coronavirus.
PETA is calling on 12 infamous laboratories and importers of monkeys to suspend all experiments and provide documentation that staff and the monkeys housed there have not been exposed to or infected with COVID-19.
The facilities include Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories (SNBL), Charles River Laboratories, Covance, California National Primate Research Center, Southwest National Primate Research Center, Tulane National Primate Research Center, Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Alpha Genesis Incorporated, The Mannheimer Foundation Inc., Worldwide Primates Inc., and Primate Products, Inc.
Many COVID-19 infections have been asymptomatic, thereby increasing the likelihood that staff may have already exposed these sensitive animals to the virus. These facilities could very well become dangerous hotbeds for COVID-19.
Life, if you can even call it living, for animals in these facilities is already hell.
Living in filthy, unnatural, cramped spaces is a constant stressor for these monkeys. Every minute of every day their entire existence is controlled and manipulated against their will.
They’re injected with foreign substances, mutilated, shocked, frightened, operated on, and tortured in many other ways that would make any sane person lose their lunch. Some of these highly social animals are kept in isolation, causing mental break down. . Certainly, these primates’ immune system would be easy pickings for the novel coronavirus.
If the monkeys do become infected, any further experiments conducted on them will be compromised. Therefore, they should be transferred to sanctuaries and left alone.
All animals deserve equal consideration—they can experience pain, suffering, joy, and fear, just as we can, even though their physiology is quite different. Monkeys live in large family groups. Female macaques stay with their mothers their entire lives, and males do for several years. They play, eat, explore, and hang out together. They have learned to use cameras and iPhones to look at themselves. They’re empathetic, often risking their own lives to help others.
Many of these facilities have a long history of both horrifying experiments on monkeys and animal welfare violations—many of which PETA has exposed.
Laboratory-for-hire Covance has been repeatedly cited for violations of federal animal-protection law and, among many other disturbing acts, has housed monkeys in such frigid conditions that they’ve developed frostbite.
When a thermostat malfunctioned at Charles River Laboratories, 32 monkeys baked alive inside their cages. Nobody even knew about the deaths until the following morning.
According to federal inspection reports, monkeys at SNBL have died as a result of trauma during capture, starvation, severe crowding, being run through a scalding-hot cage washer, strangulation, becoming trapped, hyperthermia, multiple organ failure, dehydration, suffocation, and internal bleeding.
Some monkeys in laboratories have shown that they would rather starve than subject their friends to electroshock. But these experimenters have such little regard for animals that they can’t even remember to feed or check in on the monkeys in their “care.”
These primate laboratories have never done the right thing for monkeys or for human health, and they receive tens of millions of dollars in federal grant money, i.e., your taxes. They must be held accountable for their actions.
Experimenters have countless excuses (in addition to the coronavirus) for poisoning, shocking, mutilating, and killing monkeys in their laboratories.
Right now, taxpayers are funding gruesome tests in which NIH experimenters cut into monkeys’ heads, saw off a portion of their skulls to expose the brain, and then inject toxins into them to inflict permanent brain damage. Afterward, the experimenters deliberately terrorize the monkeys with fake snakes and spiders.
Sounds insane, right? These tests, conducted by Elisabeth Murray, have gone on for decades. Just like testing the effects of coronaviruses on monkeys, they have no value for humans. They’re simply a way to take grant money and other funding away from valid scientific research.
Want to help monkeys? Using the link below, demand that NIH end these experiments.