‘Disgraceful!’ PETA Ads Slam NIH’s Multimillion-Dollar Taxpayer Handout to Troubled Primate Lab

For Immediate Release:
July 26, 2022

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Washington – PETA is placing full-and front-page ads in The Washington Times and a full-page ad in The Hill condemning the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) disgraceful decision to award a nearly $13 million annual infrastructure grant—$65 million over the next five years—to the Washington National Primate Research Center (WaNPRC) at the University of Washington (UW). This grant is in addition to the tens of millions of dollars it has received in 2022 to fund experiments on monkeys. NIH awarded the grant despite WaNPRC staff’s admitted destruction of data, the facility’s appalling record of infant primate deaths, multiple serious violations of federal animal protection laws and state animal health and import regulations, and rampant disease and toxic waste exposures at its breeding facility in Arizona.

PETA has called on U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to investigate NIH’s review process in light of the award. In October, the group provided Becerra with evidence of unethical and illegal actions by the WaNPRC that endangered primate and public health, as documented by state and federal agencies in addition to UW’s own records.

“NIH knew of the primate center’s violations, destruction of data, failure to prevent zoonotic disease outbreaks, and starvation deaths of monkeys—and still awarded it a multimillion-dollar grant,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “NIH can’t be trusted with public funds.”

In December 2021, the King County Superior Court in Seattle held the primate center liable in civil litigation brought by PETA based in part on the facility’s failure to turn over videos and photographs of monkeys used in experiments. In a series of shocking under-oath admissions, the former director and experimenters there described routinely deleting data, making it impossible for UW to comply with not only the Public Records Act but also, apparently, the school’s own records-retention duties as the recipient of hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer-supported funding from NIH.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind