For Immediate Release:
April 20, 2021
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Norfolk, Va. – To mark World Week for Animals in Laboratories (April 18 to 24), in which activists around the world protest the use of animals in experiments, PETA is ramping up the pressure to close the seven federally funded national primate research centers (NPRCs):
- A new PETA video starring Bill Maher—in which he calls out the cruelty and futility of using taxpayer dollars to fund fruitless experiments on monkeys—is now running on social media and conservative websites.
- Throughout the week, mobile PETA billboards are traveling around Atlanta; Davis, California; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, where four of the primate centers are located, and displaying video footage recorded at several of the facilities, in which monkeys inside cages barely larger than their bodies spun in circles, pulled out their own hair, and bit themselves in frustration.
- To demand the release of Cornelius—a monkey who has been caged at the University of Wisconsin–Madison primate center for more than a decade, where he spends his lonely days hunched over or with his face pressed against the cage bars—PETA is running ads in The Capital Times, on The Badger Herald website, and on Madison.com and will protest on UW-Madison’s campus tomorrow.
- Members of Students Against Speciesism—a PETA-backed, youth-led revolt against the archaic notion that all other animals are inferior and can be exploited at will—will protest in Washington, D.C., against the primate centers
“For 60 years, these federally funded failures have produced nothing but pain, misery, and death for monkeys,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “This week, PETA is intensifying its rallying cry on behalf of the primates who desperately need to get out of small, barren, stainless-steel cages and into spacious environments at sanctuaries.”
Since the NPRCs began operating in 1960s, no marketable vaccines from the use of monkeys have resulted—but the laboratories, which receive hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars a year, have racked up hundreds of violations of animal protection laws. Monkeys have died from starvation, dehydration, strangulation, choking on their own vomit, scalding in a high-temperature cage washer, and veterinary error.
Harvard University’s New England NPRC shut down in 2015—and PETA is calling on the remaining NPRCs at UW-Madison, the University of Washington, Oregon Health & Science University, Emory University, Tulane University, the University of California–Davis, and Texas Biomedical Research Institute to follow suit.