In a dreadful experiment that sounds like a cross between Frankenstein and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, stem cells from multiple embryos were fused to create so-called “chimera” monkeys containing genetic material from all the embryos used. Vivisectors at the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) cut into dozens of female rhesus monkeys to impregnate them, allowed their fetuses to develop, and then cut them open to kill the unborn monkeys and dissect them. Only two of the female monkeys were allowed to carry the babies to full term and give birth. Like their mothers, these babies now will serve a life sentence at this monkey prison, where two PETA undercover investigations have exposed the horrific abuse of primates.
ONPRC is touting the births of the three genetically manipulated rhesus monkeys, but one has to wonder what the primates used in these experiments have been forced to endure in a facility with a long history of abuse. During a 2007 undercover investigation at ONPRC, PETA documented monkeys in constant fear and so traumatized by miserable laboratory conditions, including confinement to small, barren cages, that they paced ceaselessly and pulled out their own hair. And that’s not even including the horrors intentionally inflicted on the animals during the experiments themselves.
In 2008, PETA obtained internal documents from ONPRC detailing further abuse and neglect, including that experimenters had accidentally performed surgery on the wrong monkey, repeatedly inflicted a painful procedure called “electro-ejaculation” on male monkeys, and refused to perform a Caesarean section on a sick monkey during a difficult labor (leading to the death of both mother and baby).
PETA’s subsequent complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) led the agency to cite ONPRC for three violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Since then, further USDA inspections have led to repeated citations. So why is ONPRC still being given millions of taxpayer dollars to create chimeras and conduct other cruel and pointless experiments on these intelligent, sensitive animals?
Please click here to tell the National Institutes of Health that it’s time to get out of the torture business by withdrawing funding from animal experiments at ONPRC.