PETA Statement: Another Monkey Dies at UW Primate Center

For Immediate Release:
July 23, 2019

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Madison, Wis. – Please see the following statement from PETA Vice President Alka Chandna on the death of a monkey at the Washington National Primate Research Center following an experimental surgery:

Sensitive and intelligent monkeys are trapped in an unending nightmare at the Washington National Primate Research Center (WNPRC)—and PETA is calling on the government to pull the funding from this horror show. A federal report obtained by PETA reveals that incompetence apparently led to the death of a monkey who had been used in an experimental surgery. The animal hadn’t been fasted the night before, as he should have been, but was still subjected to a surgery that was most likely carried out by experimenter Charles E. Murry. The monkey went into respiratory arrest, vomited while being given CPR and having a tube thrust down his throat, went into respiratory arrest again, and then died. In another incident, a monkey who was used in a painful procedure was given an opioid analgesic that had been diluted, likely resulting in inadequate pain relief. A drug cabinet had been left unlocked, and it appears that someone at the primate center had been diverting the opioid.

The new violations follow a pattern of chronic and serious failures at WNPRC. In recent years, monkeys have suffocated and died of dehydration. In multiple incidents, baby monkeys died from trauma to their bodies after they were placed in new groups and not properly monitored. Experimenters have deviated from protocols, exacerbating the pain and suffering of vulnerable animals. In 2018, the University of Washington—which hosts WNPRC—received more than $455 million in taxpayer dollars from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and nearly half of these grants are estimated to fund experiments on animals. Murry currently receives more than $1.7 million from NIH. When an institution cannot comply with the meager protections of federal animal welfare laws, it has no business receiving taxpayer dollars. Enough is enough: NIH must bar the university from receiving any additional funding.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

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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