Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
22 August 1999 Issue

Primate Research

Deep within the hallways of the University of Pennsylvania, behind locked doors and security clearances, hidden from public eyes, primates are being tortured and killed like expendable products.

For approximately the last ten years, the University of Pennsylvania in coordination with Allegheny University has been funding experimentation on primates. In 1994, Professor Gary Aston-Jones, a Professor of Psychology and the Director of Laboratory Neuromodulation and Behavior at the University of Pennsylvania, recorded impulse activity of individual neurons in the locus coeruleus (LC), a section of the brain, from chair-restrained, unanesthetized cynomolgus monkeys. These monkeys (Macaca fasicularis) were restrained to a customized restraining device consisting of a cubicle in which the monkey's body was placed, and an opening through which the animal's head extended. If the monkeys did as trained, yielding the correct behavior: the depression and releasing of a lever, they received a drop of juice reward (Tang). To make the primates want the reward, dehydration and thirst needed to be present. A solid aluminum post was cemented to the skulls using bone anchors and stainless steel bone screws. To fix the animals' heads in place, this post was then clamped to the primate chair, leaving the primate unable to move during recording sessions and training. During the whole length of the research, the primates were never observed to progress to the state of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. The deprivation of REM sleep has been found to cause anxiety, paranoia, and the inability to concentrate, leading to emotionally unstable test subjects.

Another similar project was started May 1, 1996 and will continue until April 30, 2000. Currently, as you are reading this very line, primates are suffering inside the doors of the Stellar-Chance Laboratory, 422 Curie Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA. Professor Aston-Jones and those individuals he works with are administering environmental and/or cognitive stressors to these very primates. Does this experiment seem important or even logical enough to cause suffering to living sentient beings such as primates, even if information is gained from doing so? This practice is unethical and needs to be stopped immediately along with all animal experimentation. An estimated 60-100 million animals are dying each year in the United States alone for animal experimentation! If these animals who are suffering and dying for medical "progress" and scientific curiosity are so different from us human beings, then how can we validly experiment on them scientifically? Yet if they are so similar to us, then how can we justify these acts morally, knowing that never in a million years, would we allow these cruel experiments to be done to our families and friends?


Join the Animal Defense League - PA as we host the Primate Freedom Tour stop in Philadelphia. Wednesday, August 25th a march beginning at 11:00am at the vending carts and commons area at 33rd and Spruce to 422 Curie Boulevard, the Stellar-Chance Laboratories, going through the heart of Upenn. Approx. 1:00pm outreach may be going on around Penn's campus

For more information please contact:
PO Box 22310
Philadelphia, PA 19110

Source: [email protected]

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