The Facts About Primate
Primate experimentation in the U.S. is out of control.
Roughly 120,000 primates are imprisoned in US labs, an increase of 24%
in the last ten years.
Funding for primate experimentation has also increased
eclipsing the $1.6 billion mark. The National Institutes of Health (NIH)
is responsible for most of this waste with 93% of NIH-funded primate
projects not relevant to the diseases (heart disease, cancer, etc.) that
are killing humans. Other government agencies funding this atrocity
include the National Science Foundation, United States Department of
Agriculture, and the Department of Defense.
The species most often experimented on are: rhesus
monkeys, baboons, squirrel monkeys, and chimpanzees. Laboratory
isolation is severely stressful to primates. In fact, 10% of isolated
primates are so severely stressed that they become self-destructive.
Primates are naturally social animals who traverse large areas of
terrain in their native habitat. Indoor laboratory environments are by
their very nature stressful to primates. Their space is severely
limited, such that a 33 – 55 pound primate lives in a space of 8 square
feet, 2’ by 4’. This is like a 165 pound human spending their entire
life in a space that is 3’ by 8’, or 24 square feet.
Most primates are not used in experiments that study
the diseases that kill most Americans. Projects studying psychology,
alcohol & addictive drugs & brain mapping far outnumber studies
involving heart disease or cancer.
Repetition is rampant among NIH-funded
projects. Currently, 175 NIH projects study neural information
processing in macaque monkeys. These useless experiments waste over $70
million in federal tax dollars every year. Many of these projects
continue for decades wasting millions of tax dollars and victimizing
primates for an entire lifetime.
U.C. Davis Experiments
Many primates at UC Davis are used in brain-mapping
experiments. These projects attach recording cylinders to the skulls of
these innocent animals. Eye coils are implanted.
Electrodes are forced into the brain. Primates are
also confined to restraint chairs and deprived of water for extended
periods of time.
Craniotomies are often performed on primates at UC
These procedures cut holes into the animals’ skull for
the insertion of electrodes into the brain. Other procedures cut
openings into the membranes that protect the brain for electrode
insertion. Restraint bars are attached to the skulls of these animals,
so their heads can literally be bolted into place during experimental
University of California, Davis –
4500 primates imprisoned.
36% of deaths tied to gastro-intestinal tract
34% of the dead primates were emaciated & 24% were
7 primates killed in heating malfunction in 2004.
Davis Primate Center connected to $93 million per
year in federally funded experimentation.
Other illnesses existing in UC Davis primates
include hepatitis, encephalitis, meningitis, gastric bloat, and a lung
fungus. Overall (63%) of the adult primates at UC Davis had some
Scientists Criticize Primate
Often, monkeys are deprived of food and water and then
rewarded with these basic necessities. In addition to the fact that
these and other similar experiments cause enormous stress and pain for
the monkeys, they have little or no clinical usefulness.
Aysha Akhtar, M.D., M.P.H.
Statement of Cheri Stevens,
Former UC Davis Primate Caretaker
“The CNPRC would like to paint the public a picture of
their establishment as a place of business that maintains a constant
state of order, a place that makes decisions that are nothing but humane
to the animals housed on site. I witnessed a much different place. The
CNPRC is in the business of making a profit at the expense and
well-being of the primates housed there. I witnessed several animals
suffer from behavioral and health issues there were a direct result of
the care they were not receiving from staff at the CNPRC. I witnessed
many decisions being made based on what would benefit the employees
rather than the primates housed at CNPRC. I witnessed many unfair and
unjust practices being used on a daily basis. I witnessed staff
mishandling and abusing animals as if it was a necessary part of the
employee’s day. The CNPRC is understaffed and the primates are not
receiving adequate care. Many primates die every year due to
malnourishment. They are literally starving to death. It is common
practice for the CNPRC to sweep the dirt under the rug.”
What you can do to help:
1. Read, copy, and distribute this fact sheet.
2. Write to your federal legislators to request a
General Accounting Office (GAO) investigation of National Institutes of
Health (NIH) funded primate experimentation.
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Washington, D.C. 20510
3. Send as large a tax-deductible donation as you
can afford to Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! (SAEN) to support this