For Immediate Release:
May 18, 2021
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Seattle – The Washington National Primate Research Center (WaNPRC) refuses to release video footage from inside its secretive infant laboratory—but PETA has sued to obtain it and is releasing a new video revealing similar caging and experiments at other primate laboratories. It shows the devastating effect of tearing infant monkeys away from their mothers and experimenting on them.
The video also features John Gluck, Ph.D., a former primate experimenter who trained in the laboratory of the controversial Harry Harlow at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and who now condemns such experiments. Harlow was first heralded and then heavily criticized for experiments in which he removed newborn monkeys from their mothers and raised them alone, in complete darkness, sometimes with only a cloth-covered wire to cling to, creating lifelong devastating physical and mental disorders.
Former students of Harlow established a similar laboratory at the University of Washington decades ago, where they warehoused fragile infant monkeys without their mothers and without friends to see how the deprivation affected their bodies and their ability to learn and establish connections. To this day, the WaNPRC separates newborn monkeys from their mothers.
“The newborns are confined to an incubator for their first few days of life and are then moved to a small cage in which they’re held alone, with a hanging cloth to replace their real mother,” explains Gluck in the video. “These manipulations cause such drastic damage across many behavioral and physiological systems that the work should not be repeated.”
“I wish now that I had spoken up when the facility was started,” concludes Gluck. “It’s time to shut down the Washington National Primate Research Center.”
Gluck is currently professor emeritus at the University of New Mexico and a faculty affiliate with the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University.
The WaNPRC is currently under investigation by two federal agencies and the Washington Department of Agriculture for allowing numerous monkeys to escape and other issues. PETA notes that Harvard University announced it was closing its New England Primate Research Center in 2013 after considering its multiple animal welfare violations, the difficulty of keeping monkeys in laboratories, and the future of its research priorities.