PETA Urges Feds to Stop Emory U. From Adding Any New Monkeys It Can’t Properly Care For

For Immediate Release:
August 11, 2023

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


PETA is urging officials to bar Emory University from obtaining any new monkeys after the school was cited for violating federal law by allowing caged monkeys to live in unsanitary conditions for up to three months and blaming a staffing shortage.

In a letter sent today, PETA is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to prevent the university from breeding or acquiring any new monkeys in light of its inadequate staffing. PETA also filed a complaint with the National Institutes of Health, urging it to investigate the school’s noncompliance with federal animal welfare standards.

The USDA cited Emory for using a labor shortage as an excuse to leave caged monkeys in their own filth for up to 12 weeks, saying inadequate staffing isn’t an excuse for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act, which requires that no more than two weeks pass between cage sanitizations. The feds also cited the university because of an incident in which a monkey died after her head became stuck in a gap in an outdoor enclosure.

“If Emory can’t find enough people to clean cages or keep animals safe, the last thing it should do is acquire more primates,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling on federal officials to investigate and block Emory from roping in new victims and asks the school to take this staffing shortage as a sign that nobody wants to work in a monkey-abusing laboratory.”

Labor shortages that delay cage cleaning—designed to prevent dirt, food scraps, excrement, and other waste from accumulating and potentially harming animals as well as posing a disease risk to humans—could easily contribute to other deficits in animal care, such as insufficient health checks and a lack of food and water.

The school has a long history of flouting laws. Monkeys have died from starvation, strangulation, suffocation, heatstroke, choking on their own vomit, self-mutilation, being scalded to death, trauma, shock, and sepsis. The USDA previously investigated Emory following a complaint from PETA that a surgical sponge had been left in a monkey’s body for four months after staff subjected her to a C-section surgery.

For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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