People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have renewed efforts to hold the National Institutes of Health (NIH) accountable for programs involving monkeys, revealed through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in February 2020.
Another series of cruel experiments using beagles recently sparked outrage from PETA and lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
Breitbart News reported that both Democrats and Republicans signed a letter demanding to know why the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – Dr. Anthony Fauci’s workplace and one of the 27 institutes under the NIH – partially funded an experiment that locked beagles’ heads in cages while hordes of hungry sandflies ate them alive.
According to the Hill, the beagles were infected with “disease-causing parasites to test an experimental drug on them.”
“NIH’s cruel and outdated experiments on dogs, monkeys and all other animals have no place in the modern world,” PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo told Breitbart News. “We urge Congress to support our Research Modernization Deal and direct NIH to support organs-on-a-chip, supercomputers, 3-D tissue models and other cutting-edge methods that will lead to treatments and cures for humans.”
The Washington Times reported on PETA’s push against NIH’s Elisabeth A. Murray, who works in the National Institute of Mental Health’s Intramural Research Program (IRP). For more than a decade, Murray’s multi-million dollar budget funded monkey studies:
PETA wanted to know what the purpose of the experiments was, to learn the track record and results of the experiments, and to see what if any evidence existed of the treatment and condition of the animals being used in the experiments. More than 18 months after initiating its request, PETA has answers, pictures and videos. All are disturbing.
The dollar costs of the monkey experiments have been staggering, the results have been disappointing and the manner in which the living primates have been treated is appalling.
Ms. Murray has received tens of millions in project funding from NIH, part of the Department of Health and Human Services. According to NIH’s funding database (RePORTER), she received $3.1 million from 2007 to 2008 and $33.2 million from 2009 to 2019. That is more than $36 million in 13 years to carry out experiments on dozens of monkeys without any tangible benefits to humans.
“Since exposing the Murray monkey fright experiments PETA has waged a no-holds-barred campaign, including numerous colorful protests at the NIH headquarters and in front of the homes of experimenter Elisabeth Murray and NIH director Francis Collins; rallied support from primatologists and scientists, including famed orangutan expert Dr. Biruté Galdikas, celebrities including Anjelica Huston; and placed high profile ads on DC television stations, and in numerous newspapers,” PETA said in response to Breitbart’s inquiry. “More than 240,000 PETA supporters have emailed and called NIH demanding an end to the experiments.”
“In May, PETA sued NIH for refusing to turn over records of the individual monkeys, and earlier this month, PETA and two activists, represented by The Knight First Amendment Institute and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, respectively, filed a lawsuit against NIH and U.S. Health and Human Services for first amendment violations after the agency blocked public comments containing words such as ‘monkey’ and ‘torture’ on their websites,” PETA explained to Breitbart.