A primate research center has been blasted by vegan activists - who claim it conducts cruel tests on animals.
According to PETA, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University, houses around 4,000 nonhuman primates who have been or will be experimented on.
The charity has erected a billboard near the facility in a bid to highlight its practices. The board says: "If You Call It 'Medical Research', You Can Get Away With Murder." PETA will also post the board near six other federally funded National Primate Research Centers across the country.
'Sensitive and intelligent'
PETA Vice President, Alka Chandna, Ph.D., said: "Sensitive, highly intelligent monkeys are caged, cut up, and killed inside this laboratory, and taxpayers are footing the bill. PETA is calling on NIH to stop funding animal suffering, shut down Yerkes, and divert research funds to superior non-animal methods."
The charity adds: "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."
'Laboratory animal care'
Speaking about PETA's campaign, a spokesperson for Yerkes told Plant Based News: "Yerkes and the six other National Institutes of Health-funded National Primate Research Centers are fighting disease and improving health by making breakthrough discoveries possible. Yerkes rigorously adheres to regulations and guidelines the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Emory’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee have established.
"Yerkes has maintained continuous full AAALAC International accreditation for 35 consecutive years. AAALAC International is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes humane treatment of animals used in scientific research and whose accreditation is recognized as the gold standard for laboratory animal care.
"In late May, the seven National Primate Research Centers (NPRCs) launched an educational website to raise awareness of our biomedical and behavioral research with animals to improve human and animal health. The website, NPRC.org, provides detailed information for those who are interested in learning more about the value and impact of NPRC research, which ranges from work on Alzheimer’s disease to Zika virus."
Animals in research
Americans for Medical Progress is an organization which describes itself as 'supporting the responsible use of animals in research to advance both human and veterinary medicine'. A spokesperson told PBN: "PETA's inflammatory billboards, which accuse dedicated health researchers of murder, are not only outrageous. They are extremely dangerous. The research they are criticizing is heavily regulated and extensively overseen by several agencies across the federal government.
"All Americans have benefited from animal-based health studies in a variety of species - from rodents to monkeys. This is why PETA’s repeated attempts to get Americans to accept their alternate reality is truly sinister.
"The fact is that animal studies generate critical health findings that combat disease and save lives. The resulting advancements - from over-the-counter medications to cancer therapies - touch our lives daily. We are literally surrounded by the proof of their success."
But PETA claims that many of these painful experiments do not even benefit humans, saying: "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."