PETA Urges NIH, UMass to Shut Down Marmoset Torture Lab

For Immediate Release:
May 19, 2021

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Amherst, Mass. – After uncovering that the University of Massachusetts–Amherst (UMass) cuts up, cages, and kills marmosets to study menopausea condition that the animals don’t even experience—PETA is calling on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to stop funding the studies and urging the school’s animal use oversight committee to close the laboratory.

UMass imprisons dozens of marmosets—small New World monkeys who are known to be particularly susceptible to disease in captivity. University experimenters zip-tie frightened marmosets into restraining devices, drill into their skulls and implant electrodes, cut open their necks to expose muscle, and thread electrode leads from the scalp and neck to the abdomen. To mimic “hot flashes” in the marmosets, experimenters cut out their ovaries and heat the animals with hand warmers, like those placed in mittens during wintertime. In another UMass experiment, castrated male marmosets were injected with testosterone and then tested for cognitive functioning. In some tests, these sensitive, social monkeys are kept in solitary confinement.

“Believing you can study menopause on animals who can’t even experience it wouldn’t win you a prize at a fifth grade science fair,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “NIH must stop the marmoset massacre at UMass.”

PETA has been contacted by numerous UMass alumni and donors concerned about the school’s animal welfare violations. The university has been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for severely burning an animal on a heating pad as he was recovering from surgery, failing to alert an attending veterinarian to sick animals, and permitting a monkey to escape and injuring the animal’s tail during recapture.

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; follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram; or click here.

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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