For Immediate Release:
December 27, 2021
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Seattle – Please see the following statement from PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo following the recent decision by the King County Superior Court holding the University of Washington’s Washington National Primate Research Center liable for intentionally destroying public records:
It’s stunning that PETA’s open records lawsuit against the University of Washington has revealed that videotapes and photographs of controversial and secretive monkey experiments at the Washington National Primate Research Center (WaNPRC) are routinely destroyed by scientists and administrators who apparently feel that they are beholden to no one. In a win for PETA’s work to inform the public and hold the WaNPRC accountable, the judge in the case stated, “The lack of any policy/system which identified videos/photos which are being destroyed prevents [UW] from complying with the requirements of the [Public Records Act].” In a series of shocking, under-oath admissions, the former director of the primate lab and experimenters there describe routinely deleting data, which would seem to violate not only the Public Records Act but also their records retention duty as recipients of hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer-supported funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The rogue primate center is already under investigation by NIH for its failure to maintain the biosecurity of the animals at its facilities—and Washington state authorities had to step in when it was revealed that the WaNPRC had been importing diseased animals into the state. The WaNPRC is a threat to public health and appears to be hiding torture and incompetence. NIH and UW must act to shut down this facility immediately.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.