I have a lot of “strong” opinions. I tend to be fairly “outspoken” and often have to remind myself to simply keep my mouth shut. Sometimes, however, that just isn’t possible. Certain issues illicit a response within me that just can’t be silenced. Animal testing is one of these.
I recently received an email about testing that is being done at the University of Wisconsin involving baby monkeys. As I’ve said before, I LOVE ANIMALS, I make no apologies for that. In these experiments baby monkeys are being taken from their mothers and then exposed to “stressors” in order to evaluate how they react. They are later killed in order to study how the physiology of their brains may have changed in response to the experiments.
Not only is this horrendous for the babies, imagine how awful it must be for the mother monkeys to have their babies forcibly taken from them. For me, this experimentation is completely inexcusable! It doesn’t take a genius to know what happens when a baby is taken away from its mother and exposed to extreme stressors. STOP IT NOW!
Below is the message written by Dr. Ruth Decker, M.D., J.D., M.B.A. on the Change.org petition site:
As an alumna of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Medicine, I am horrified to learn that my alma mater plans to conduct highly controversial and cruel experiments that will torture and kill baby monkeys.
The experiments, led by Dr. Ned Kalin, will take newborn rhesus macaque monkeys away from their mothers (who have been restrained or drugged against their will while their baby is removed). The defenseless baby monkeys are then sent to solitary confinement—where they are terrorized and exposed to anxiety-inducing stressors including live snakes, painful skin-punch biopsies, and stressful brain scans. After this relentless torture, they are killed before the age of two.
The university gained notoriety in the 1960s when Harry Harlow first isolated infant primates from their mothers in the now infamous maternal deprivation studies. The effects were devastating. The babies went into shock, huddling in the corners of their cages, clutching themselves, rocking, and self-mutilating. Today, such methods are considered extreme and unethical yet are being revived in Kalin’s proposed research.I am shocked that this great university, which holds itself as a premier institution, is regressing to engage in these barbaric studies.
Painless methods of research that do not involve animal suffering and that better assess the cognitive aspects of anxiety disorders are already available. The maternal deprivation method, which one researcher calls “hopelessly crude and antiquated,” traumatizes baby monkeys in the worst ways imaginable.
There is some evidence that someone behind these proposed experiments intentionally left out several committee members opposed to these cruel tests — which is illegal for these taxpayer funded tests! The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) is calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to investigate the approval for these tests due to this controversy.
As a former faculty member and investigator at the University of Michigan, I had NIH (public) funding to support my genetic research. I am familiar with the guidelines universities must follow.The university has failed to meet these objectives.
I ask you to join me and condemn the needless torture and killing of baby monkeys.
Please sign the petition below and demand the University of Wisconsin cancel these horrific experiments!