Court Rules That OHSU Must Give PETA Videos of Controversial Monkey Tests

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4 min read

PETA can only imagine what unspeakable cruelty monkeys must have endured for Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) to try this hard to bury footage of its experiments.

But PETA sued, and we won.

The Multnomah County Circuit Court ruled that OHSU must turn over to PETA 74 videos of taxpayer-funded experiments on monkeys. We filed a lawsuit against the university last year, after it denied our open-records request for the videos.

The experiments took place at the notorious OHSU-operated Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC).

The footage is connected to the laboratory of Elinor Sullivan, whose experiments involve impregnating macaque monkeys, feeding the mothers various experimental diets, separating them from their offspring, and deliberately frightening the young monkeys.

OHSU was happy to take millions of tax dollars to impregnate monkeys, feed them “junk food,” and then separate the baby monkeys from their mothers in order to frighten them—but it fought tooth and nail against releasing the videos of this horror.

The university denied PETA’s request for the recordings of these experiments, claiming that its work with the videos was ongoing—but in fact, experimenters had already published several papers based on these federally funded experiments.

The court stated the following:

ONPRC has been found in violation of internal and external regulations. …  Some of these violations caused harm to [the primates] .… The public has an interest in seeing ONPRC’s videos .… The public also has an interest in knowing how public [National Institutes of Health] grant funding is being spent and whether the experiments at issue are a worthy use of public funds. Some members of the public, including PETA and its members, believe that behavioral experiments on juvenile [primates] are inhumane and cannot be justified .… [T]here is a public interest, as codified in Oregon’s Public Records Act, to allow these political debates to be carried out with public information and transparency.

The university has lost, but the public has won.

The ONPRC—which received more than $218 million in taxpayer-funded grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2017—currently holds more than 5,000 monkeys.

Oregon Health & Science University or OHSU

Other experiments at the facility include forcing the animals to eat lard and addicting them to nicotine and alcohol. PETA previously obtained footage from OHSU of a publicly funded experiment that Sullivan helped to coordinate in which young monkeys were deliberately frightened with a Mr. Potato Head toy.

OHSU is also a serial violator of animal protection laws. Since the beginning of 2017, it has racked up more than a dozen violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

Monkeys imprisoned at ONPRC suffer every minute of every day for years in deplorable conditions before they’re killed.

All animals deserve equal consideration—they can experience pain, suffering, joy, and fear, just as we can, even though their physiology is quite different. But in laboratories, they are reduced to being living, feeling petri dishes for crude, useless experiments.

Oregon Health & Science University or OHSU

Monkeys live in large family groups. Female macaques stay with their mothers for their entire lives, and males do so 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.

Monkeys—like all animals—deserve respect. Help PETA end tests on them today.

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 crazy, right? These tests, conducted by Elisabeth Murray, have gone on for decades. They have no value for humans. They simply 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:

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