PETA to Screen Graphic Footage of Taxpayer-Funded NIH ‘Monkey Fright’ Experiments

For Immediate Release:
March 16, 2021

Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

Bethesda, Md. – On Tuesday, PETA protesters near National Institutes of Health (NIH) offices will blast graphic NIH laboratory footage on a TV to demand that NIH experimenter Elisabeth Murray stop inflicting brain damage on vulnerable monkeys and terrorizing them with fake spiders.

When:    Tuesday, March 16, 12 noon

Where:    At the intersection of Wisconsin and Western avenues, Bethesda

Murray has received more than $47 million in taxpayer funding since 1998 for these “psychology” experiments. She cuts into monkeys’ heads, saws off a portion of their skulls to expose the brain, and then injects toxins into it to inflict permanent and traumatic brain damage. In other experiments, “head posts” are implanted directly into the skulls of some brain-damaged monkeys in order to keep their heads stock-still for hours. They’re kept thirsty or hungry to force them to cooperate, puffs of air are blown at their eyes, and they’re restrained for extended periods. They’re caged alone for years or even decades—condemned to social isolation that causes profound psychological and physiological distress. In addition, experimenters frighten the monkeys with fake jumping spiders and wooden mechanical snakes. The monkeys respond by freezing, turning away, shaking their cages, or showing signs of submission.

“This secret, taxpayer-funded torture chamber has gotten away with murder for decades,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling on NIH to shut it down now.”

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

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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