For Immediate Release:
December 20, 2022
Amanda Hays 202-483-7382
Seattle – Please see the following statement from PETA Senior Science Advisor Dr. Lisa Jones-Engel regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) recent settlement with the University of Washington (UW) for five serious violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act from November 2018 to January 2021—some at its Washington National Primate Research Center, including its facility in Mesa, Arizona:
The University of Washington can’t or won’t abide by even minimum animal protection laws, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s paltry fine isn’t enough to protect the monkeys. The feds need to shut down the miserable Washington National Primate Research Center immediately before staff error and negligence kill another monkey.
UW would like to hide its atrocities, but PETA won’t allow that. Last month, the university wrote a check to PETA for nearly $540,000 in fees and penalties after the court found that UW had improperly withheld and destroyed public records. The school must modernize its laboratories by replacing cruel and archaic experiments on animals with sophisticated, human-relevant research methods, using the strategy proposed in PETA’s Research Modernization Deal. Above all, UW must leave monkeys alone.
Supplementary Background Information
A monkey suffocated to death after becoming entangled in a chain attached to an improperly installed “enrichment device.” Another monkey died after being used in an experimental surgery for which he had not been fasted the night before. After the surgery, the monkey went into respiratory arrest, vomited while being given CPR and as a tube was being thrust down his throat, went into respiratory arrest again, and then died. After workers at UW’s Mesa facility failed to ensure that monkeys were securely held in enclosures, a juvenile monkey escaped from her enclosure and sustained multiple injuries that resulted in the amputation of her left arm. An adult monkey was discovered to be moderately dehydrated after she’d been left in a trapping run for at least 12 hours and employees failed to notice that she was missing. Several monkeys sustained injuries—including facial lacerations and injuries to their hands and fingers—after two monkeys escaped from their enclosure and got into physical altercations with other stressed monkeys. The last violation—pertaining to escapes—followed a complaint submitted by PETA to the USDA, based on revelations disclosed during meetings of UW’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. UW had appealed this citation when it was first issued in January 2021, but the USDA rejected the appeal, writing, “The fact that these [noncompliance items] took place over an approximately 9-month period is not indicative of a facility that is demonstrating success at preventing critical animal welfare issues. Therefore, these citations will remain on the inspection report as written.”