Graphic Photos Expose Wake Forest University’s Animal Welfare Violations

For Immediate Release:
April 12, 2022

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Winston-Salem, N.C.

Photos just obtained by PETA from a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report reveal the latest federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations in Wake Forest University’s laboratories: a monkey locked into a restraint chair that’s so large the animal hangs by the neck and underarms as well as pigs’ food dishes caked with dark brown grime. The photos are available here.

“Wake Forest experimenters were not troubled to leave a monkey hanging by the neck and underarms in a medieval restraining device for 90 minutes—and federal inspectors were forced to intervene to stop the mistreatment,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Wake Forest is either unable or unwilling to comply with minimum animal welfare standards, and PETA is calling on the university to close down its animal laboratories and focus on modern, animal-free research.”

Wake Forest received more than $123 million in taxpayer money last year from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with about half funding curiosity-driven experiments on animals. Yet studies show that less than 10% of animal studies ever translate into treatments or cures for humans.

In recent years, the USDA has cited Wake Forest laboratories 18 times for violating the AWA. Among those violations, a monkey strangled in his cage after becoming entangled in an “enrichment” device. An untrained experimenter carved into cats’ skulls and implanted hardware into their brains but failed to give them pain medication. An experimenter stitched up a pig’s abdomen but left a towel inside the animal’s body—leading to the animal’s death. A rabbit died from asphyxiation when a laboratory worker failed to handle the animal properly.

Last year, PETA exposed Wake Forest experimenter Carol A. Shively, who had initially reported using federal grant money to fund CIA black site–style torture methods on monkeys in China, a country with lax animal protection laws. Purportedly employed to study mental illness in humans, experimenters blasted monkeys with water cannons, bombarded them with jackhammer-like sounds, blinded them with strobe lights, and sent electric shocks through their feet. Wake Forest denied that federal funds had supported the project, even though the published journal article about the study stated that it had.

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 or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram or click here.

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