Citywide Ad Blitz Condemns Wasteful and Worthless Terror Tests on Monkeys

PETA Campaign Exposes Government Experimenter’s Taxpayer-Funded Torment of Brain-Damaged Monkeys

For Immediate Release:
July 15, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


As part of PETA’s campaign against National Institutes of Health (NIH) experimenter Elisabeth Murray’s painful, invasive, and deadly experiments on monkeys, a mobile billboard will circle the NIH building in Bethesda, Maryland, and the nearby neighborhoods of Murray and NIH Director Francis Collins today. Another ad—which points out that NIH has wasted more than $36 million on terrifying brain-damaged monkeys with rubber snakes and spiders for these tests—will grace Capital Bikeshare stands across the district this week.

Over the next three weeks, PETA will also run a TV ad about the experiments during News4 at 6:30 p.m. on NBC/WRC, during WUSA9 News at 6 p.m. on CBS/WUSA, and during Good Morning America at 7 a.m. and ABC7 News at 6 p.m. on ABC/WJLA.

“The public deserves to know that NIH is using taxpayer dollars to carry out Frankensteinlike experiments in its laboratories and inject toxins into monkeys’ brains,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA’s ad blitz will show the public—which has unwittingly been footing the bill for NIH’s horrors—why these indefensible experiments must end.”

In addition to the fright tests, monkeys used by Murray are subjected to procedures that cause extreme pain and distress—including the following:

  • Monkeys are subjected to multiple invasive surgeries—including craniotomies in which sections of their skulls are carved out, a head post is implanted at the top of their skulls so that their heads can be held still, and a large hole is cut into their skulls so that experimenters can inject drugs into the brain.
  • Monkeys are fitted with a metal or hard plastic collar and strapped into a restraint chair that keeps their head, arms, and/or legs immobilized. For some experiments, their arms are tied behind their backs while their heads are kept still via a head post. They are held in this manner for hours at a time as often as five days a week.
  • Monkeys’ food and water consumption is severely restricted so that they will be motivated to “prompt[ly] respond” to the experimenters and “earn food or fluid … rewards.”

Last month, PETA filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture alleging violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act in Murray’s laboratory. In February, the group released video footage of her fright experiments on the animals.

The bike share ads will be located at the intersections of McKinley Street N.W. and Connecticut Avenue N.W., Wisconsin Avenue N.W. and Ingomar Street N.W., Wisconsin Avenue N.W. and Albemarle Street N.W.,; and Connecticut Avenue N.W. and Newark Street N.W. as well as at the Van Ness–UDC Metro station.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or click here.

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