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Dalai Lama Recognizes Cruelty of Wisconsin Primate Center's Ned Kalin
The Primate Freedom Project was sent a copy of the Summer 2001 Quarterly: The Magazine for University of Wisconsin Medical School Alumni and Friends. An article in the magazine, “New Brain Imaging Laboratory Draws the Dalai Lama,” had caught the attention of an alert Primate Freedom Project supporter. We found the following photograph on 16:

The caption reads: With UW Medical School’s Dr. Ned Kalin by his side, the Dalai Lama learns how tracers are made for the Keck Laboratory PET scanner.

Ned Kalin is well known to those fighting to close the nation’s primate laboratories for his experimental brain surgeries on the emotion centers of monkeys. We wrote to the Dalai Lama and included the following references and points for His Holiness’ consideration:


“Effects of amygdala lesions on sleep in rhesus monkeys.” Benca RM, Obermeyer WH, Shelton SE, Droster J, Kalin NH. Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin - Madison, 6001 Research Park Blvd., Madison, WI 53719-1176, USA. Brain Research 2000 Oct 6; 879 (1-2):130-8

“The amygdala is important in processing emotion and in the acquisition and expression of fear and anxiety. It also appears to be involved in the regulation of sleep and wakefulness. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of, fiber-sparing lesions of the amygdala on sleep in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). We recorded sleep from 18 age-matched male rhesus monkeys, 11 of which had previously received ibotenic acid lesions of the amygdala and seven of which were normal controls. Surface electrodes for sleep recording were attached and the subjects were seated in a restraint chair (to which they had been adapted) for the nocturnal sleep period. Despite adaptation, control animals had sleep patterns characterized by frequent arousals. Sleep was least disrupted in animals with large bilateral lesions of the amygdala. They had more sleep and a higher proportion of rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep than did either animals with smaller lesions or control animals. Based on these results, it seems likely that, in the primate, the amygdala plays a role in sleep regulation and may be important in mediating the effects of emotions/stress on sleep. These findings may also be relevant to understanding sleep disturbances associated with psychopathology.”

“Effects of acute and repeated restraint stress on corticotropin-releasing hormone binding protein mRNA in rat amygdala and dorsal hippocampus.” Lombardo KA, Herringa RJ, Balachandran JS, Hsu DT, Bakshi VP, Roseboom PH, Kalin NH. Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA. Neuroscience Letters 2001 Apr 20; 302 (2-3):81-4.

“Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) mediates endocrine, behavioral, and autonomic responses to stress. In addition to binding to two receptor subtypes, CRH binds to a CRH-binding protein (CRH-BP). While CRH-BP is hypothesized to play a role in regulating levels of free CRH and modulating the stress response, the effects of stressors on brain CRH-BP are relatively unexplored. The present study determined effects of acute and repeated restraint on CRH-BP mRNA in basolateral amygdala (BLA) and dorsal hippocampus (DH), brain regions involved in fear and motivation. Using in situ hybridization, we found that a single acute period of restraint significantly increased CRH-BP mRNA in BLA by 20% but had no effect in DH. Repeated restraint had no effect on basal levels of CRH-BP mRNA in BLA or DH. Importantly, repeated restraint blocked the effects of acute restraint in the BLA. These results demonstrate differential effects of acute and repeated restraint on CRH-BP mRNA.”

Dr. Kalin has been systematically hurting animals since the very early 1980’s. His behavior has not changed since the time he coauthored, “Shuttlebox avoidance in rhesus monkeys: effects on plasma cortisol and beta-endorphin,” a paper that appeared in the journal Peptides in 1983. [Peptides 1983 Jan-Feb;4(1):19-24.]

I imagine you would have no need to know what a shuttlebox is, so I will explain. A shuttlebox is a cage with two compartments with a door between them. The floor of each side of the shuttlebox can be electrified. First one side is electrified and an animal receives a shock to his or her feet and jumps through the door. The floor in that side is then electrified and the animal jumps back through the door. The animal shuttles back and forth to avoid being shocked. Often both sides are electrified simultaneously so that the animal cannot avoid being shocked.

In the above paper, Dr. Kalin et al wrote: “Groups of monkeys either extensively pretrained to avoid shocks in a shuttlebox or with minimal prior experience were compared for plasma cortisol and beta-endorphin levels immediately following: (1) an exposure to the box with no shock, (2) the box providing repeated inescapable shocks or (3) a re-exposure to the box, again with no shock presentation. Mere exposure to the unfamiliar box elevated plasma cortisol just as much as exposure + shock did when inexperienced monkeys were tested. However, animals with a history of previously successful shock avoidance showed smaller elevations when exposed to the box alone, than they did when inescapable shock was received.”


Rick Bogle, Founder
Primate Freedom Project
2251-A Refugio Rd.
Goleta, CA 93117
805 968 4531

We were pleased to receive the following reply:

Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2001 04:19:09 +0530
From: Office of His Holiness the Dalai
To: rbogle@sonic.net

Dear Rick Bogle,

Thank you for your e-mail letter of August 25 addressed to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

His Holiness appreciates your bringing to His attention about work of Dr. Ned Kalin. His Holiness was not aware that Dr. Kalin was involved in conducting tests on animals that were painful and extremely cruel.

His Holiness has always been against such tests on animals. In fact, when His Holiness offered to make a contribution to a research work by Dr. Paul Ekman on the subject of CULTIVATING EMOTIONAL BALANCE. His Holiness specifically pointed out that the research work should not involve experiments on animals.

With best wishes,

Tenzin Geyche Tethong

It gives us hope that even world leaders are capable of compassion and concern for the victims of rampant unbridled curiosity. The triple efforts of the Primate Freedom Project are Education: we must explain what is happening in the labs and what has been learned about the minds and emotions of monkeys and apes. Advocacy: having explained what is happening and who primates are, we must assert that what is being done to them is unethical and immoral. Support: we will offer every assistance and resource available to us in support of others working to end the nightmare of experimentation on monkeys and apes.

A wedge can be forced between two seemingly immovable objects to force them apart.
The trick is to find a purchase for the thin leading edge.

Primate experimentation is the thin leading edge of the wedge of public opinion that will move the animals out of the labs.