‘Murder’ Ads Blast University of Washington’s Monkey Experiments

PETA Ads Put a Spotlight on School’s Secretive Taxpayer-Funded Experiments on Primates

For Immediate Release:
April 15, 2019

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


“If You Call It ‘Medical Research,’ You Can Get Away With Murder.” That’s the message on new PETA ads now appearing on top of gas pumps at a gas station near the University of Washington (UW) campus targeting the school’s Washington National Primate Research Center (WaNPRC), where more than 1,200 monkeys are imprisoned for breeding or for use in cruel and worthless experiments.

PETA’s ads are located at the 76 gas station at 4600 Fremont Ave. N., at the intersection with N. 46th Street.

“Burning, poisoning, crippling, and blinding animals would be considered criminal cruelty anywhere except in a laboratory—where no experiment, no matter how painful, is prohibited by federal or state law,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling on UW to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on cruel experiments and relinquish the thousands of suffering primates in its laboratory to reputable sanctuaries.”

Official records reveal that in 2017, UW used 667 monkeys in experimentation and an additional 565 for breeding purposes. Most monkeys owned by the school are confined to stainless steel cages inside the sprawling Magnuson Health Sciences Center in the University District. These highly intelligent, sensitive animals are used in cruel experiments at UW. Experimenters intentionally infect some with diseases and drill holes into others’ skulls so that they can implant probes directly into their brains. In addition, records reveal that UW used 47 dogs, 172 cats, 311 rabbits, and 174 pigs as well as countless mice and rats in invasive and deadly experiments in 2017. UW has received multiple citations for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act, including for a “critical” violation in 2017 after four monkeys were discovered to be pale and anemic following excessive blood draws by laboratory staff. In 2018, another monkey became a victim of negligence when her jaw got entangled in a chain holding an “enrichment device” that hadn’t been properly installed and she strangled to death.

The WaNPRC is one of seven National Primate Research Centers, which are established and funded by the federal National Institutes of Health (NIH). PETA has already posted its message near the primate centers in Georgia, Oregon, Texas, and Wisconsin, and it’s targeting the remainder with ads in Davis, California, and New Orleans. The group—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—notes that UW received more than $455 million in 2018 in taxpayer-funded grants from NIH, approximately half of which were directed toward cruel and archaic experiments on monkeys and other animals.

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