Suspend All Experiments, Group Says; Monkeys' Exposure to Virus Will Affect Future Experiments
For Immediate Release:
April 29, 2020
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Homestead, Fla. – Humans aren’t the only primates who can be infected with the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. That’s why PETA is calling on the Mannheimer Foundation, Inc., to suspend all experiments and provide documentation that the monkeys housed there, as well as its staff, have not been exposed to or infected with the coronavirus. Because the virus affects monkeys differently from humans, they aren’t good “models” for studying the human form of the disease—and if any of the monkeys are infected, future studies involving them would be compromised.
“We are deeply concerned that in the face of a global pandemic—the very reason that primate experimenters claim to need to cage and maintain 100,000-plus primates in laboratories—the Mannheimer Foundation may not be able to show that the monkeys it imprisons and the humans it employs haven’t been exposed to COVID-19,” says PETA veterinarian Dr. Ingrid Taylor.
The Mannheimer Foundation has been cited for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including for the administration of unapproved medications and the approval of substandard protocols. During Hurricane Andrew in 1992, 1,500 monkeys and baboons escaped from its Haman Ranch, and monkeys escaped from there again in 2015.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA’s letter to the Mannheimer Foundation is available here.