PETA ‘Monkey’ to Haunt Primatologist Conference

For Immediate Release:
November 16, 2021

Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

Oklahoma City

At the 43rd Meeting of the American Society of Primatologists on Thursday, a PETA supporter in a larger-than-life costume will confront attendees with the specter of Dorothy, a monkey who was exploited at the Washington National Primate Research Center (WaNPRC) until her frail, diseased body collapsed. PETA is calling for the closure of all seven federally funded national primate research centers, including the WaNPRC.

When:    Thursday, November 18, 1 p.m.

Where:    Omni Oklahoma City Hotel, 100 Oklahoma City Blvd.

PETA’s “monkey” will be outside the conference while national primate research center representatives, including from the WaNPRC, take the stage for a session about “managing” groups of macaques.

“These laboratories have squandered hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars over the last 60 years to make monkeys miserable and have failed to produce a marketable vaccine or cure for deadly human diseases,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “PETA is asking the primatologists at this conference to join us in calling for these failed centers to be shut down and the monkeys to be sent to reputable sanctuaries where they could live out the rest of their lives in peace.”

Video footage obtained from four of the national primate research centers shows highly social monkeys held in solitary confinement inside cages barely larger than their bodies, where they spin in circles, pull out their own hair, bite themselves, and engage in other types of behavior indicative of distress and trauma. The facilities have racked up hundreds of violations of animal protection laws, and monkeys have died from starvation, dehydration, strangulation, choking on their own vomit, scalding in a high-temperature cage washer, and veterinary error.

In 2015, Harvard University’s New England Primate Research Center, facing multiple animal welfare violations, examined the future of research and closed down. In addition to the WaNPRC at the University of Washington, national primate research centers remain in operation at the University of Wisconsin, Oregon Health & Science University, Emory University, Tulane University, the University of California–Davis, and Texas Biomedical Research Institute.

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

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