For Immediate Release:
September 27, 2023
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Seattle – PETA has launched a new mobile billboard campaign today that’s circulating through the streets of the University of Washington (UW) campus greeting arriving students on the first day of classes with a video depicting influencer Emily Austin transforming into a monkey and calling on university officials to shut down the Washington National Primate Research Center.
The primate center supports the secretive and deadly trade in endangered pig-tailed and long-tailed macaques—monkeys who are disappearing from their forest homes at such an alarming rate that the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declared them endangered species, noting that the experimentation industry is a significant factor in their decline.
Footage from PETA’s mobile display
“Killing endangered monkeys in experiments that consistently fail to improve human health is not cutting-edge science—it’s barbarism,” says PETA Senior Science Advisor Dr. Lisa Jones-Engel, a former UW faculty member. “PETA is urging university officials to shut down the primate center immediately.”
Over the past two decades, UW has purchased, bred, and used thousands of monkeys, trucking them across the country for dubious experiments. The university has imported pig-tailed macaques from Indonesia to facilities in Arizona, Louisiana, Texas, and Washington, where they endure confinement and are forced to breed, only to have their offspring torn away from them to be used in experiments themselves.
Federal inspection reports also reveal a litany of violations at the primate center, including deaths due to incompetence and neglect. Monkeys have strangled to death, died of thirst, been mauled by other monkeys, and choked to death on their own vomit. Yet the center receives tens of millions of taxpayer dollars from the National Institutes of Health every year.
Last year, UW was forced to pay more than $540,000 in fees, penalties, and interest for failing to comply with requests for information about what goes on inside its primate center and for routinely destroying photos and videos.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.