PETA Statement: Monkey Strangled by Surrogate ‘Mother’ at Harvard Medical School

For Immediate Release:
October 6, 2021

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Boston – Please see the following statement from PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna regarding federal documents that reveal serious animal welfare violations at Harvard Medical School:

If workers at Harvard Medical School (HMS) are incapable of keeping monkeys safe even before they’re used in painful and deadly experiments, they should be fired. According to a just-posted federal inspection report obtained by PETA, two monkeys were seriously injured after staff failed to ensure that a divider separating them had been properly secured.

Another federal report, which PETA obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request, documents that a juvenile monkey strangled to death after she pushed her head through a hole in a piece of cloth serving as her surrogate “mother.” Even as HMS imprisons monkeys in conditions of extreme impoverishment, replacing warm and nurturing mothers with pieces of cloth, the school—which received more than $178 million in taxpayer money from the National Institutes of Health last year—has the gall to refer to the cloth surrogates as “enrichment.”

Studies show that a staggering 90% of basic research, most of which involves animals and the type of work carried out at HMS, fails to lead to treatments for humans. Our government needs to pull the plug on the hundreds of millions of grant dollars that flow into HMS every year and support human-relevant, non-animal research instead.

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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