PETA: WFU Spent Taxpayer Funds on Monkey Torture Experiments in China

Group Files Complaint About Federal Dollars Used for Electroshock, Coldwater Shock, Strobe Light, Other Experiments at Unapproved Facility

For Immediate Release:
February 11, 2021

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Winston-Salem, N.C. – PETA has filed a complaint with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and called on Wake Forest University (WFU) to investigate after documenting that the school applied funding from NIH to experiments on monkeys at Chongqing Medical University in China, in violation of federal rules.

A paper coauthored by WFU experimenter Carol Shively reveals that NIH grant money helped finance a study in which experimenters blasted monkeys with a loud buzzing sound for 12 hours, administered electric shocks to their feet, flashed strobe lights at them for 12-hour stretches, drenched them with cold water for 10 minutes at a time, and deprived them of food and water for extended periods.

Federal policies governing the use of NIH funds explicitly state that institutions may only use the money to experiment on animals if they have written assurance acceptable to the U.S. Public Health Service—a qualification Chongqing Medical University does not have.

“Experimenters at WFU used taxpayer money to fund CIA black-site torture methods on sensitive, fearful monkeys in a country that has weaker animal protections,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Such a clear-cut case of ethics dumping is why PETA demands an investigation from both NIH and university officials and a ban on future public funds for Shively.”

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 or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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