PETA: Defund University of Kansas Medical Center After Monkey Dies in Botched Surgery

For Immediate Release:
July 6, 2023

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Kansas City, Kansas – Please see the following statement from PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo regarding the critical violation posted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture against the University of Kansas Medical Center after a monkey died during surgery:

Leaving a sentient being lying prone on a surgical table, unconscious and entirely helpless, in the hands of an untrained and unqualified assistant is reckless beyond the pale, and the resulting death was unfortunately predictable. According to a just-posted report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a vervet monkey who was undergoing surgery to implant a head cap—a steel plate on the monkey’s skull—died after being left for 90 minutes in the hands of an untrained resident assistant. A surgeon and an assistant began the procedure, but the surgeon left after an hour. Less than 30 minutes later, complications arose that the assistant couldn’t handle. It was “assumed,” the report says, that the ventilator doing the monkey’s breathing for him was placed properly. But the monkey’s oxygen levels fell, and eventually his pulse was lost. The animal died, likely because of an improperly placed ventilator tube, the report says.

This gross incompetence does not deserve to be rewarded with taxpayer money. In a complaint filed today, PETA has asked the National Institutes of Health to cancel all federal funding of this facility.

The University of Kansas should redirect its resources toward modern, non-animal research methods that will actually help humans, and we urge officials there to adopt PETA’s Research Modernization Deal.

For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind