PETA Exposé: Johns Hopkins Bought 31 Monkeys From Notorious University of Wisconsin Laboratory

For Immediate Release:
March 2, 2021

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


PETA has newly obtained records from the Maryland Department of Agriculture revealing that Johns Hopkins University (JHU) purchased 31 rhesus macaques from the notorious taxpayer-funded Wisconsin National Primate Research Center (WNPRC), where nearly 2,000 monkeys are confined to small, barren steel cages in windowless rooms. A six-month PETA undercover investigation  into the center revealed workers prying baby monkeys away from their mothers, electroshocking penises, and more.

Both facilities are infamous for dismal animal-care failures. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) both launched investigations into the WNPRC after PETA’s exposé revealed that the stress of extreme, near-constant long-term confinement there led monkeys to attack one another, while others mutilated themselves or paced and circled endlessly. The primate center has a long history of animal welfare violations, including a $74,000 USDA fine last year for mishandling, incompetence, and carelessness in its laboratories.

At JHU, USDA investigators found highly social primates locked alone in barren laboratory cages as well as many other violations of federal law, including that a worker closed a cage door on a marmoset monkey, causing the animal to die.

“These 31 monkeys were shipped from one hellhole to another, apparently to be warehoused and tormented and killed in experiments on the taxpayers’ dime,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “Primates are sentient beings, not test tubes, and PETA is calling for an end to the monkey mill-to-laboratory pipeline.”

In fiscal year 2020, NIH provided JHU with more than $807 million and WNPRC’s parent institution, the University of Wisconsin–Madison, with more than $338 million. More than 145,000 PETA supporters have urged NIH to stop wasting taxpayer money to fund tests on monkeys, and the group is calling on JHU to end all experiments on animals, including Shreesh Mysore’s admittedly flawed and possibly illegal deadly brain tests on barn owls.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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