UMass President Backpedals, PETA Appeals to Board Over Monkey Experiments

For Immediate Release:
March 15, 2022

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Amherst, Mass. – University of Massachusetts (UMass) President Marty Meehan has broken a promise, so this morning, PETA appealed to the chair of the UMass Board of Trustees, Robert J. Manning, to broker a meeting with Meehan to discuss UMass-Amherst experimenter Agnès Lacreuse’s menopause experiments on marmoset monkeys.

The action comes after concerned animal advocates caused a ruckus at a UMass alumni event in Florida earlier this month, during which Meehan offered to meet after the event. PETA followed up the next day to schedule a meeting, only for Meehan to refuse the request.

In the tests in question, experimenters zip-tie frightened marmosets into restraining devices, drill into their skulls and implant electrodes, cut open their necks to expose muscle, and thread electrode leads from the scalp and neck to the abdomen. To mimic hot flashes in the monkeys, experimenters cut out their ovaries and heat the animals with hand warmers, like those placed in mittens during wintertime. Eventually, they are killed and dissected.

“Marty Meehan pledged to meet to discuss the scientifically flawed experiments that blight UMass’ reputation, and now he’s broken his promise,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “The Board of Trustees should be concerned about the lack of integrity at all levels of UMass.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited UMass for numerous violations of federal animal welfare laws. In one instance, a marmoset was severely burned with a heating pad as he was recovering from surgery. Another violation occurred when a marmoset escaped from a device, and his tail was injured during recapture by staffers.

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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