UC-Davis Students Win National Activism Award for Confronting Cruelty at Primate Laboratory

For Immediate Release:
December 5, 2022

Contact:
Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

Davis, Calif. – For organizing a provocative protest against the notorious California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) at the University of California (UC)–Davis, where thousands of monkeys are infected with deadly viruses, inflicted with painful diseases, psychologically traumatized, and killed in cruel experiments, the school’s Students Opposing Speciesism (SOS) hub has won PETA’s 2022 Libby Award for SOS Action of the Year.

SOS is a PETA-backed, youth-led revolt against speciesism, the archaic belief that other animals are inferior and exist solely for humans to exploit. “Libby” is short for “liberation”—as in “animal liberation”—and the awards, from PETA’s youth division, recognize the individuals, brands, and products that go above and beyond for animals.

During their impassioned protest, UC-Davis students wore monkey masks and white laboratory uniforms as they caged themselves, splashed themselves with “blood,” lay “dead” on tarps, and marched through campus demanding that the university shut down the CNPRC, end its cruel experiments on monkeys, and replace them with modern, non-animal research methods.

“Once these UC-Davis students learned that the CNPRC imprisons monkeys and cuts open their skulls in useless experiments, they were determined to end this abuse,” says PETA Senior Director Rachelle Owen. “PETA is celebrating these students’ creativity in rallying their peers to demand the closure of this cruel laboratory.”

Kara Long, who leads the SOS hub, won PETA’s Hero to Animals Award earlier this year. Long teamed up with PETA to start a petition now signed by more than 62,600 people calling on UC-Davis to stop experimenting on animals. She and other SOS members also organized several protests against speciesism, persuaded the student senate to pass a resolution condemning the CNPRC’s many animal welfare violations, and conducted teach-ins to educate their peers about the cruelty monkeys endure in laboratories.

“All animals deserve to be treated with respect, which is why we’re calling on UC-Davis to stop these cruel experiments and replace outdated animal experimentation with modern, non-animal research methods,” says Long. “The SOS members at UC-Davis will continue to push campus leaders to stop the torment inside the CNPRC, and the monkeys trapped inside its walls will always have us as allies.”

SOS shares PETA’s motto: “Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.” For more information, please visit SOS.PETA.org or follow SOS on 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