Suspend All Experiments, Group Says; Monkeys' Exposure to Virus Will Affect Future Experiments
For Immediate Release:
April 29, 2020
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Miami – 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 Worldwide Primates, 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—Worldwide Primates 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.
In 2018, Worldwide Primates founder Matthew Block admitted to intentionally conveying false information through the mail. After sending threatening letters to his mother and one of his employees in an effort to frame animal advocates, he was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay nearly $15,000 to cover the costs of the police investigation.
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 Worldwide Primates is available here.