International Primate Protection League Founder Was Shocked by Video Released by PETA
For Immediate Release:
July 29, 2020
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Summerville, S.C. – This morning, Dr. Shirley McGreal, OBE—founder of the locally based International Primate Protection League (IPPL)—joined a coalition of scientists, medical doctors, primatologists, and other experts in condemning National Institutes of Health experimenter Elisabeth Murray’s painful and deadly behavioral experiments on rhesus macaques. In these tests, sensitive monkeys are inflicted with permanent brain damage and then terrified with fake snakes and spiders. (video).
In a statement released today by PETA, McGreal says, “The thought of [rhesus macaques] living in tiny cages or [being held in] restraint chairs and undergoing multiple brain surgeries gives me nightmares. And to think this has been going on for decades at taxpayers’ expense! … I am also shocked that any veterinarian would participate in these cruel experiments.” Her full statement is available here.
In June, PETA filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture alleging violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act after obtaining documents revealing that the monkeys in Murray’s laboratory are subjected to a litany of procedures that cause acute or chronic 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 directly into the brain.
- Monkeys are fitted with a permanent 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 stock-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.”
- Highly social rhesus macaques are caged alone, which frequently leads to self-harming behavior, as shown in video footage obtained by PETA.
McGreal founded the IPPL in 1973 after living in Thailand and seeing primates in cages destined to be sent to laboratories overseas and to be sold domestically as pets. She has exposed primate smuggling operations, and her many years of advocacy have helped to secure bans on primate exportation in Thailand, India, and Bangladesh. Among other honors, she has received the Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance.
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.