TODAY (Video): PETA Supporters Arrested at HHS Over ‘Monkey Fright’ Lab

For Immediate Release:
January 25, 2022

Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

Washington – Seven PETA supporters were just arrested for occupying the foyer of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) as part of a protest against experimenter Elisabeth Murray’s “monkey fright” experiments. Photos of the protest, which began outside HHS headquarters, are available here, and video footage of the arrests is available here.

In her experiments, Murray cuts into monkeys’ heads, injects toxins into their brains, implants “head posts” into their skulls, deprives them of food and water, and terrorizes them with fake but realistic-looking snakes and spiders. She has received nearly $50 million in taxpayer funding since 1998—and hasn’t produced one treatment or cure for humans.

“Elisabeth Murray’s monkey-torture laboratory has sucked up millions of government dollars, and all that taxpayers have gotten for it is a pile of dead animals,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA won’t rest until the National Institutes of Health shuts down Murray’s laboratory.”

Monkeys in Murray’s laboratory are caged alone for years or even decades—condemned to social isolation that causes profound psychological and physiological distress. When experimenters frighten the isolated and brain-damaged monkeys with fake jumping spiders and wooden mechanical snakes, the monkeys respond by freezing, turning away, shaking their cages, or showing signs of submission.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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