‘Murder’ Billboard Blasts Monkey-Experimentation Facility

PETA Ad Brings Yerkes National Primate Research Center’s Cruel Experiments Out of the Shadows

For Immediate Release:
August 7, 2018

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 404-907-4172

Atlanta – “If You Call It ‘Medical Research,’ You Can Get Away With Murder.” That’s the message of a new PETA billboard now up near the National Institutes of Health (NIH)–funded Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University, where nearly 4,000 nonhuman primates are imprisoned for use in cruel and deadly experiments. PETA is also posting the billboards near the six other federally funded National Primate Research Centers across the country.

The Atlanta billboard is located at the intersection of Briarcliff Road N.E. and Johnson Road N.E. and will stay up for a month.

“Sensitive, highly intelligent monkeys are caged, cut up, and killed inside this laboratory, and taxpayers are footing the bill,” says PETA Vice President Alka Chandna, Ph.D. “PETA is calling on NIH to stop funding animal suffering, shut down Yerkes, and divert research funds to superior non-animal methods.”

In one $2 million study now being conducted at Yerkes, experimenters ripped 24 infant monkeys from the chests of their mothers and placed a mask over their faces to force the babies to inhale aerosolized oxytocin or a placebo. The baby monkeys were placed in a small “testing chamber” with their anesthetized mothers. In the chamber, experimenters used a machine to track the young monkeys’ eye movements as they watched a screen that was displaying videos of monkeys showing aggressive behavior. This is meant to be a study of autism – a condition monkeys don’t suffer from.

PETA notes that other monkeys used by Yerkes are torn away from their mothers, isolated in small cages, immobilized in restraint devices, and subjected to invasive and deadly experiments, including being infected with fatal diseases and forcibly addicted to drugs. The facility has a long history of federal Animal Welfare Act violations, including, in recent years, multiple incidents in which monkeys endured debilitating pain—and in one case, died—after gauze was left in their abdomens during experimental surgery, an incident in which a juvenile female monkey died after being left behind and forgotten in an unattended cage, and an incident in which a juvenile monkey had to be euthanized after a rubber band that had been tied to his wrist for a tattooing procedure became embedded in his body because staff neglected to remove it.

Approximately 47 percent of the NIH budget—about $15 billion—currently funds animal experiments that many experts are now decrying as wasteful and irrelevant. Studies have shown that the results of up to 90 percent of animal studies don’t translate to humans and actually undermine work to develop cures for cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases. In 2017, Yerkes received nearly $80 million in grants from NIH.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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