For Immediate Release:
December 10, 2021
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Washington – Please see the following statement from Dr. Lisa Jones-Engel, senior science advisor on primate experimentation with PETA’s Laboratory Investigations Department, regarding a new study that shows monkeys aren’t good models for COVID research.
Experimenters must stop using monkeys for COVID research immediately—and stop spreading the falsehood that there is a monkey shortage in U.S. laboratories. A new study from researchers in Seattle shows that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID, does not behave in monkeys as it does in humans. Macaques who were vaccinated against or recovering from the disease failed to mirror human immune responses that they are meant to model. Just as experiments on monkeys have failed to yield a marketable vaccine for HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, Zika, and a host of other diseases, it appears now that a reliance on monkeys for COVID vaccines and treatments would benefit only the experimenters and not the public. The federally funded national primate research centers that are now clamoring for more monkeys and more money need to acknowledge their limitations and failures, and our government must fund only what is most likely to yield results that are meaningful for humans.