UW’s Infamous Monkey Laboratory Faces PETA Call for State Hearing

The Washington National Primate Research Center Uses Sick Monkeys Bred Near Toxic Waste Site, Exposé Reveals

For Immediate Release:
November 11, 2021

Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

Olympia, Wash.

Today, PETA sent a letter to Washington state senators and representatives requesting that the Washington State Legislature convene a public hearing on the operations of the University of Washington’s (UW) Washington National Primate Research Center (WaNPRC).

The WaNPRC was the subject of a recent seven-month investigation by The Arizona Republic, which revealed that taxpayer dollars are being used to lease a breeding facility in Mesa, Arizona, in which monkeys are dying from unintended diseases a few hundred meters from a toxic waste site. On top of this, UW has shipped some of these terribly sick animals to the WaNPRC’s Seattle campus—without state-required reporting paperwork—and to other laboratories around the country.

“The disease, deaths, and mismanagement at the WaNPRC are draining the University of Washington’s resources and tarnishing its reputation,” says PETA scientist, Washingtonian, and former WaNPRC researcher Dr. Lisa Jones-Engel. “PETA is calling on the state legislature to shine some much-needed light on this cruel laboratory and the issues plaguing it.”

Between November 2017 and March 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited UW 77 times for failing to meet the minimum standards of the federal Animal Welfare Act—and more than 20% of these violations involved the treatment of monkeys at the primate center. A 2018 review of the WaNPRC by the National Scientific Advisory Board further flagged the center’s crumbling finances, stating that some financial issues “border on insurmountable.”

To drive the message home, PETA has also plastered a storefront less than a mile from Capitol Hill with a reminder that monkeys don’t want to be experimented on by UW workers any more than humans want to be probed by extraterrestrials.

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

PETA’s storefront ad is located at 123 Fourth Ave., near Columbia Street, in Olympia.

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