PETA Sues UW Over Primate Center, Animal Oversight Records

For Immediate Release:
December 30, 2020

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Seattle – Today, PETA filed a lawsuit against the University of Washington (UW) to compel it to turn over records as required by the state’s Public Records Act. The lawsuit contends that UW has refused to turn over records and documents associated with the experimental use and breeding of primates at its Washington National Primate Research Center (WaNPRC) and about the membership of the university’s animal experimentation oversight committee.

As part of its ongoing efforts to inform the public and hold UW accountable for its violations of animal protection laws and its use of monkeys in experiments, PETA submitted requests for documents detailing the decision to purchase a rundown, contaminated facility in the Arizona desert, where the WaNPRC has been breeding an endangered species of macaque for use in experiments. PETA has also requested documents detailing the WaNPRC’s financial, leadership, and veterinary crises and showing how these failings led the National Institutes of Health to take the unprecedented step of restricting the WaNPRC’s funding.

“UW has no problem using public funding but balks at telling taxpayers exactly what they’re paying for,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is demanding the legally required release of these records, and we’ll see the university in court.”

In September, PETA filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture over evidence of animal welfare violations at the WaNPRC as well as serious conflicts of interest on UW’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, which is supposed to ensure that all animal protection laws are enforced in the school’s laboratories. Last month, PETA released the first-ever video showing how monkeys are warehoused at the WaNPRC.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

A copy of the lawsuit is available upon request.

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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