Video: Protesters Disrupt Baby-Monkey Experimenter’S Speech As New Exposé Reveals Animals Being Made Mentally Ill

For Immediate Release:

18 September 2014


Ben Williamson +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 229; [email protected]

Action Is Latest Salvo in PETA Campaign Calling for an End to Highly Controversial, Much-Criticised Abuse of Baby Monkeys

Cardiff – Just five minutes into today’s speech at the SWALEC Stadium by Dr Stephen Suomi, the head experimenter on baby monkeys at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), two PETA campaigners crashed the stage and unfolded signs reading, “Suomi: Stop Abusing Baby Monkeys”. Their action follows the release of hours of video footage which reveals that hundreds of infant monkeys are being torn away from their mothers at an NIH laboratory in Maryland, causing them to suffer from psychoses. The activists were escorted from the room, where the annual general meeting of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry was taking place. Video footage and photos are available here and here. Photos of the experiments are available here and here

“Maternal deprivation experiments on baby monkeys are a textbook example of unethical psychological research, and they need to stop”, says PETA demonstrator Kirsty Henderson. “We’re in the age of brain imaging and superior human-based research that allows us to study the causes and treatments of mental illness in humans without terrorising animals in traumatic experiments.”

“[M]onkeys are being subjected to what I consider inhumane experiments at a laboratory in Maryland that is funded by public money”, said world-renowned primate expert Dr Jane Goodall, DBE. “I am shocked and saddened that this is so.”

Hundreds of hours of videos and hundreds of photographs and documents obtained by PETA US from NIH through a contested Freedom of Information Act request show that as many as 60 monkeys are bred every year to be prone to depression and other mental illness. Half of them are taken from their mothers at birth – and never returned – and are then subjected to years of deeply distressing and even painful experiments at NIH, all designed to cause, worsen or measure the monkeys’ severe anxiety, fear, aggression, depression and other psychological illnesses.

Backed by prominent scientists, including Dr Goodall, PETA is calling for an immediate end to the 30-year-old project that’s received £18.5 million ($30 million) from tax funds in just the past seven years and is approved to continue until 2017 – even though mental-health experts concur that it’s never led to the development or improvement of treatments for human mental illness.

For more information on cruel animal experiments, please visit