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University of Wisconsin: Cancel The Unethical Torture and Killing of Baby Monkeys!

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!

This petition was delivered to:
  • Eve M. Hall, UW Board of Regents
  • John R. Behling, UW Board of Regents
  • David G. Walsh, UW Board of Regents
  • Gerald Whitburn, UW Board of Regents
  • John Lucas, Executive Director University Communications & Marketing
  • Ray Cross, President
  • Richard L. Antoine – Chair Wisconsin Alumni Association
  • Dr. Ned H. Kalin
  • Dean, School of Medicine and Public Health and Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs
    Dr. Robert N. Golden
  • Department of Pathobiological Sciences
    Eric Sandgreen
  • Daniel Uhlrich
  • Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare - NIH
  • Dr. Thomas R. Insel, Director NIMH
  • Board of Regents
  • José F. Vásquez, UW Board of Regents
  • Anicka S. Purath, UW Board of Regents
  • Mark J. Bradley, UW Board of Regents
  • José M. Delgado, UW Board of Regents
  • Tony Evers, UW Board of Regents
  • Michael J. Falbo, UW Board of Regents President
  • Margaret Farrow, UW Board of Regents
  • Nicolas A. Harsy, UW Board of Regents
  • Tim Higgins, UW Board of Regents
  • Regina Millner, UW Board of Regents Vice President
  • Janice Mueller, UW Board of Regents
  • Drew Petersen, UW Board of Regents
  • Charles Pruitt, UW Board of Regents
  • Edmund Manydeeds, UW Board of Regents


Dr. Ruth A. Decker, M.D., J.D., M.B.A. started this petition with a single signature, and now has 526,749 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.