For Immediate Release:
January 31, 2022
Amanda Hays 202-483-7382
Seattle – Today, PETA’s mobile billboard showing video footage from inside the Washington National Primate Research Center (WaNPRC) will circle the University of Washington’s campus and urging students and faculty to call for the closure of the controversial primate laboratory. The video compilation includes footage of the monkeys held at the WaNPRC, providing a rare glimpse of the cramped, sunless, stark living conditions in the basement laboratory at UW.
PETA has exposed staff incompetence, cruel experiments, violations of state laws regarding transporting monkeys, and more at the federally funded facility. PETA’s recent open records lawsuit against UW revealed that scientists and administrators have routinely destroyed public records, including videotapes and photographs of secretive monkey experiments. In a series of shocking, under-oath admissions, the former director of the primate center and experimenters there describe routinely deleting data, which makes it impossible for UW to comply with not only the Public Records Act but apparently also the university’s own records retention duties as the recipient of hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer-supported funding from the National Institutes of Health.
“PETA’s mobile billboard shows the public what the university would like to hide—that monkeys spend their entire lives in small metal boxes at the WaNPRC,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Monkeys are irradiated, they’re infected with diseases that they don’t normally contract, and the tops of their skulls are cut into—all for experiments that are failing to help humans. This laboratory needs to shut down now.”
As revealed in a scathing exposé by The Arizona Republic, the WaNPRC and its breeding facility have sent diseased monkeys to experimenters across the country, violated animal health and importation regulations, failed to prevent the introduction and spread of deadly diseases among monkeys, and been repeatedly cited for multiple violations of animal welfare laws. Monkeys at the WaNPRC have died from strangulation, starvation, dehydration, veterinary error, and choking on their own vomit. Internal documents obtained by PETA reveal that in one recent eight-month period, the center had to treat a staggering 332 traumatic injuries.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.