Animal Rights Collective Blog

Primate Liberation Week: October 17-24, 2009 by christine

Even George Mason University endorses and will soon be conducting (if they don’t already) experiments on primates. A Biomedical Research Laboratory is being finished at the Prince William Campus, which will test on primates, rabbits and rodents, and then toss their mutilated bodies into a chemical digester. This doesn’t include the archaic and perverted animal tests that already occur on our campus. For example, the psychology department at GMU conducts testing on rodents, shocking them in order to induce fear in what is called a “fear conditioning chamber.”

That makes George Mason University President Alan G. Merten complicit in animal cruelty, tell him you do not approve.

President Alan G. Merten, Office of the President

D103 Mason Hall, Ffx, MSN: 3A1

Phone: (703) 993-8700 | Fax: (703) 993-8880

Primate Experimentation in the United States: 

A National Picture

from Stop Animal Exploitation Now! (SAEN)

The Facts About Animal Experiments

Primate experimentation in the U.S. is out of control. All-time high 69,990 primates are imprisoned in US labs for experimentation – a five year increase of 31%. An equal amount are held captive for breeding, making the total closer to 120,000. We estimate that funding for primate experimentation has also increased reaching $1.6 billion during fiscal 2007. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is responsible for most of this waste. Experimentation on primates is funded by several federal agencies including NIH, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense.

restraint chair

Widespread Suffering

Many different species of primates including macaque monkeys, squirrel monkeys, baboons, and chimpanzees are experimented on in many different ways. Macaque monkeys are used most often, with baboons second and squirrel monkeys third.
Isolation is severely stressful to primates. In fact, 10% of isolated primates are so severely stressed that they begin to engage in self-injurious behavior. Many different psychological experiments also stress primates severely. Many primates suffer terribly inside labs across the U.S.

Harvard – 2100 primates imprisoned; 55% infant mortality rate; over 300 primates in solitary confinement; many exhibiting signs of pathological behavior.

University of California, Davis – 7700 primates confined, records for 400 monkeys revealed 403 traumatic injuries, 143 amputations, along with 387 wounds, 221 bites, 70 abrasions, 171 lacerations, and 40 fractures. Experiments confine primates to restraint chairs and use water deprivation.

Wake Forest – imprisons over 1000 primates; monkeys are socially isolated, deprived of sleep and subjected to addiction drugs.

University of Wisconsin Madison — (UW) imprisons approximately 1500 primates. Primates escape from cages severely injuring other animals. Other monkeys suffer with brain abscesses due to the bolting of devices into the bones of the skull.

Brain Implant

University of California, San Francisco – Over 100 primates incarcerated; government documents reveal primates deprived of water for as much as 22 hours per day. Monkeys lose over 15% of their body weight and self mutilate in neurological experiments.

Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research – imprisons over 5700 primates; recently cited for beginning post-mortem dissection of a baboon that was not yet dead.

University of Washington, Seattle – Over 2200 primate imprisoned. Recently cited for performing unapproved surgical procedures – one researcher entirely removed the head of a primate.

Johns Hopkins University – confines over 800 primates; monkeys are used in drug addiction experiments and brain mapping projects which force electrodes directly into the brain of conscious animals.

University of Minnesota – imprisons over 180 primates; drug addiction experiments during which primates are so stressed that they rip out their own hair while screaming; other monkeys are deprived of water and socially isolated.


Many diseases and conditions plague the primates that are held captive within laboratories, such as: meningitis, pneumonia, encephalitis, hepatitis, and gastric bloat. Monkeys often lose fingers, toes, and tails through amputation.

Common experimental practices include depriving primates of food or water so that these things become effective rewards. In some instances, the primates may receive water for only an hour or two per day, or are deprived of as much as 20% of their regular food intake.

The use of primate restraint chairs is also common, with confinement reaching as much as 104 consecutive hours. These devices are highly stressful for normally active and mobile primates. In brain mapping experiments many devices are literally bolted onto the skulls of primates, and electrodes are fed directly into the brain. Intravenous catheters are surgically implanted in experiments with addictive drugs. These devices can lead to serious infections, and other potentially fatal conditions.

Government Waste

Most primates are not used in experiments that study the diseases that kill most Americans. Projects that study primate psychology, alcohol & addictive drugs, brain-mapping, and sex in primates far outnumber studies involving heart disease or cancer. Repetition is rampant among NIH-funded projects. Currently, the National Eye Institute funds 57 projects that use primates in brain-mapping. These duplicative experiments waste over $110 million every five years. Many of these projects continue on for decades wasting millions of tax dollars each year and victimizing primates for an entire lifetime.

Remember one thing: the primates who are suffering in laboratories as you read this letter are depending on us to work together to fight for their freedom. We must exercise our rights (free speech, freedom of assembly, etc.) so that we can fight for the recognition of their rights. They have no voice but ours. They have no protection, no hope, unless you act. For every activist that does nothing, more primates suffer and die.

To learn more about primate experimentation in the US, visit SAEN.

Video: Cruelty at Covance Labs in Vienna, VA

Sign the Covance Petition


Did you know Tylenol kills cats and dogs? Or that Penicillin kills guinea pigs? Learn why animal testing is antiquated and about alternatives to animal testing.

Learn more about primates in laboratories

Speak Out for Chimps

Unseen they suffer,

Unheard they cry,

In agony they linger,

In loneliness they die.


Your Liberation is Bound Up in Mine


“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr.