PETA Rallies Viewers to Urge National Institute of Mental Health to End Monkey Fright Tests, Forced Swim Tests on Mice, and More
For Immediate Release:
May 19, 2020
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Washington – Amid Mental Health Awareness Month and the current catastrophic pandemic, PETA is running a new TV ad that exposes how the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is wasting millions in taxpayer money on cruel experiments—designed to induce or measure extreme fear, panic, despair, trauma, and the sense of helplessness in animals—that are irrelevant to humans suffering from mental illness.
The ad—which will air during WTTG’s Fox 5 News at 4 p.m. today, at 5 p.m. on June 1, and at 10 p.m. on June 15—takes aim at NIMH’s use of the widely discredited forced swim test, in which small animals are placed into beakers filled with water and must swim frantically to keep from drowning; the tail suspension test, in which mice are hung upside down by their tails, which are taped to a bar; foot-shock experiments, in which mice or rats are locked inside a chamber with an electrified grid floor and repeatedly shocked; and other experiments recently exposed by PETA in which NIMH’s Elisabeth Murray cuts into monkeys’ heads, saws off a portion of their skulls to expose the brain, injects toxins to inflict permanent brain damage, and then terrorizes them with fake snakes and spiders.
“People are suffering, the world is battling a devastating virus, and NIMH is squandering millions of dollars on crude experiments that nearly drown mice and inflict brain damage in monkeys,” says PETA neuroscientist Dr. Katherine Roe. “With its hard-hitting ad, PETA is exposing this agency’s misdeeds and asking that it implement human-relevant research methods that will deliver results to patients.”
PETA points to studies showing that 90% of all basic research, most of which involves animals, fails to lead to human treatments and that 95% of all new medications that test safe and effective in animals fail in human trials. In 30 years of testing on monkeys, Murray’s laboratory has received over $36 million in taxpayer money but has failed to develop a single treatment or cure for humans.
PETA’s ad urges viewers to text MOUSE to 73822 to tell NIMH to stop tormenting vulnerable animals and wasting limited funds and to switch to superior, non-animal research models.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org/NIMH.