NIH Ending Baby Monkey Torture!
An Animal Rights Article from


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
December 2015

[Also read NIH kills one of last legacies of vivisector Harry Harlow AND see January 2015 Alert: Tell NIH to Stop Tormenting Infant Monkeys]

 The experiments were inhumane and not applicable to humans and superior, human-based research tools are available.

monkey family

I have exciting news about PETA's work to end the exploitation of primates in laboratories.

Following an intensive year-long PETA campaign, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced that it's ending its cruel psychological experiments on baby monkeys after more than 30 years. The laboratory is being closed down, and the lead experimenter will no longer be involved in any experiments on animals.

You'll probably recall that last fall, PETA released disturbing video footage showing NIH's cruel and archaic maternal deprivation experiments in which infant monkeys were torn away from their mothers at birth to traumatize them, terrorized with loud sounds and fake snakes, intimidated by human experimenters, addicted to alcohol, and forced to live alone in tiny cages to worsen their psychological distress. The trauma inflicted on the infants by NIH psychologically and physically crippled many of the monkeys for life.

PETA's effort to stop baby monkeys from being abused at NIH began with a hard-fought public records request and included colorful protests and other campaign actions, scrutiny from members of Congress, and criticism from scientists, including Dr. Jane Goodall, who noted that the experiments were inhumane and not applicable to humans and that superior, human-based research tools are available. PETA filed numerous complaints and scientific critiques with federal agencies and conducted vigilant follow-ups on the status of the project through the Freedom of Information Act.

Celebrities, including actor James Cromwell, TV icon Bob Barker, celebrity psychotherapist Dr. Jenn Berman, and conservative strategist Mary Matalin helped PETA get the attention and support of federal officials. And we ran hard-hitting national and local advertising campaigns to ensure that the baby monkeys' plight was known far and wide. Renowned artist Dan Witz even created a striking guerilla street art installation in support of the campaign that featured displays across Washington, D.C., including at NIH headquarters.

And of course, we couldn't have won this momentous victory without the support of over a quarter of a million caring and dedicated people like you who wrote and called NIH officials as well as members of Congress and pleaded with them to take action.

Because of you, no more infant monkeys will be bred to suffer depression, torn from their mothers, and experimented on at NIH.

There are approximately 300 monkeys left at the NIH laboratory, and we will be pushing for them to be retired to sanctuaries, as NIH has committed to do with chimpanzees.

Thank you for all you do for animals!

Return to Animal Rights Articles
Read more at Alternatives to Animal Testing, Experimentation and Dissection