Hundreds of monkeys imprisoned in a National Institutes of Health (NIH) laboratory recently exposed by PETA got an early Christmas gift this week when compassionate members of Congress fired off a letter to NIH requesting that the agency’s Bioethics Department conduct a thorough scientific and ethical review of the cruel psychological experiments in which baby monkeys are bred to suffer from depression and other mental illness, torn away from their mothers at birth, and subjected to years of scary and painful procedures that are totally irrelevant to humans.
In the letter to NIH Director Francis Collins, the members—led by California Congressmember Lucille Roybal-Allard—express their own worries about the experiments, cite their constituents’ concerns arising from media reports about PETA’s exposé, and point to the inadequacy of NIH’s previous responses to the public and Congress about the case.
Congress’s action is the latest salvo in our ongoing campaign to bring these cruel and archaic experiments to a halt. The campaign has attracted support from more than 150,000 caring people around the world and a wide range of public figures, including world-renowned primate expert Dr. Jane Goodall, celebrity psychotherapist Dr. Jenn Berman, and conservative strategist Mary Matalin.
Just last week, PETA ran a full-page ad exposing these torturous experiments in an influential Capitol Hill newspaper, keeping the issue on the radar of D.C. decisionmakers. You might remember that we previously ran 250 eye-catching ads throughout the D.C. Metro system and that one of our ads prompted a C-SPAN host to confront Francis Collins about the case on live TV.
PETA activists have recently surprised the NIH director and the lead experimenter on the baby monkey studies during presentations at academic conferences, and PETA call-in actions to NIH have tied up the agency’s phone lines for days and ensured that the public’s overwhelming objections to these experiments are heard loud and clear.
The campaign to get NIH to end these horrible and wasteful experiments is continuing to gain steam, and it looks like the new year is bringing new hope for the monkeys imprisoned at NIH. If you haven’t already, please write NIH and urge it to modernize its research program.