National Primate Research Center
1997 NIH Base Grant: $5,662,807
1997 total NIH funding: $14,378,181
1999 NIH Base Grant: $6,265,427
2000 NIH Basegrant: $6,187,662
Meet the Yerkes director: Stuart
The primate colony at Yerkes totals over 3,000 animals, representing
11 species. According to the facility, They include rhesus,
pigtail and stumptail macaques, baboons, sooty mangabeys, capuchins,
and squirrel monkeys. Yerkes also is one of the few research centers
with chimpanzees, which are currently involved in noninvasive research
on social intelligence, evolution, reproduction and conservation.
[Implying that none of their chimpanzees are being harmed? Pure
propaganda.] All the Yerkes gorillas and bonobos, nearly all of
its orangutans, and many of its chimpanzees are on loan to zoological
parks. [from Yerkes's homepage] They also point out that their
primate colony is self-supporting, as if breeding monkeys to hurt
and kill is somehow more ethical than capturing monkeys to hurt
and kill. They claim, The Center's primate populations are
virtually self-sustaining. Each year, births in the rhesus monkey
colonies alone total about 300. This suggests that Yerkes
is killing at least 300 rhesus monkeys a year.
Yerkes is infamous for a number of reasons. First, it was the only
one of the original seven NIH regional centers where, for over 30
years, apes were imprisoned and experimented on. An eighth center,
the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in San Antonio, was
recently commissioned; it too has a large chimpanzee population.
Second, Yerkes specializes in forcibly addicting monkeys to illegal
And third, Yerkes funds studies which prove that chimpanzees and bonobos
are capable of communicating with humans with human language and possess
a sensitivity and consciousness so like our own that empathic understanding
is common between members of each species (human and non-) who are
given the time to get to know each other; while at the same time,
Yerkes intentionally infects them with malaria and HIV-1 and forces
them to live in solitary confinement.
Primate vivisectors are unable to make ethical decisions based on
their own findings: intense public scrutiny and involvement is warranted.
Our silence, in light of current knowledge regarding the minds of
monkeys and apes, is akin to the German people's silence during the
Holocaust. This is illustrated by Yerkes's Living Links Center. The
Center's introduction states ...our institute conducts all of
its work with noninvasive techniques that we would not hesitate to
apply to human volunteers. Our goals are 1) to reconstruct human evolution,
2) pinpoint the differences and similarities between humans and apes,
and 3) educate the public about apes, and promote their well-being
and conservation. The goals are admirable and a casual observer
would not easily discern that the Center was a part of Yerkes.
It is a macabre looking-glass world. At Yerkes, researchers work to
understand the minds and emotions of monkeys and apes and have published
papers and books that point out remarkable similarities, and differences,
between the species, humans included. But the very people who know
who these animals are, simultaneously remain mute concerning the suffering
of the animals in the disease and cocaine labs. Perhaps they whisper
together after work or even speak openly among themselves, but they
do not speak publicly. Imagine a Southern slave owner operating a
college for the study of African intelligence, there really is very
little difference; whites used to view all persons of color as inferior;
persons with mental and physical handicap were relegated to the basements
and circuses for much of history. Now, we simply carry on the tradition.
Just as people wonder why more Germans did not speak out, so too will
our children wonder about us.
Shielded from Public View
Yerkes uses the fact that its host university, Emory University, is
a private college to shield it from public scrutiny. Yerkes has repeatedly
refused to provide a census of the monkeys and apes it has on hand
to members of the public. Yerkes claims that, being a private institution,
they need not answer inquires from the public, that they are exempt
from the federal Freedom of Information Act and that the many millions
of dollars in taxpayer support they receive does not come with a responsibility
to the taxpayer.
As long as Congress agrees, the concerns of the pubic regarding the
facility are of no merit.
Yerkes, precisely like every other facility in the nation experimenting
on animals, claims that all the animals under its control are well
cared for by experts in their fields. They claim, on their website,
|Around the clock animal
care at Yerkes is provided by five clinical veterinarians,
seven veterinary technicians, some 60 primate care specialists,
and a registered nurse. They are aided by pathologists,
experts in reproductive medicine, and behavioral scientists
and technicians who specialize in environmental enrichment
for captive primates.
A look at what actually goes on in the Yerkes labs will make short
shrift of the notion that the animals at Yerkes are well cared
Comparative Behavioral Pharmacology of Cocaine and the Selective
Dopamine Uptake Inhibitor RTI-113 in the Squirrel Monkey was
published in the journal Pharmacology and Experimental Theraputics
[Vol. 292, Issue 2, 521-529, February 2000]. The authors are Leonard
L. Howell, Paul W. Czoty, Michael J. Kuhar and F. Ivy Carrol. All
the authors, except F. Ivy Carol, are Yerkes/Emory University scientists.
In their paper, the researchers are quite clear regarding what they
did to the monkeys they used in their experiments. They explain this
in the "Materials and Methods" section of their paper.
|Subjects. Sixteen adult male squirrel monkeys (Saimiri
sciureus) weighing 820 to 1350 g served as subjects.
Between daily sessions, subjects lived in individual
cages and had access to food (Harlan Teklad Diet, fresh
fruit and vegetables) and water. Nine subjects were
surgically prepared with a chronically indwelling venous
catheter for i.v. administration of drugs. While anesthetized
with ketamine hydrochloride (10.0 mg/kg, supplement
to effect) and diazepam (0.1 mg/kg), polyvinyl chloride
tubing (0.38 mm i.d., 0.75 mm o.d.) was inserted via
the left or right femoral or external jugular vein with
sterile surgical technique. The catheter was filled
with heparinized saline (20 U/0.2 ml saline) and sealed
with a stainless steel obturator when not in use. A
nylon-mesh jacket protected the externalized end of
the catheter. All animal-use procedures were in strict
accordance with the National Institutes of Health Guide
for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and were
approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
at Emory University.
There are a couple of points that should be called to the reader's
attention regarding this passage.
1. The squirrel monkeys were housed individually. Squirrel monkeys
naturally live in large social groups. This is common knowledge. Consider
the Emory University Policy on Environmental Enrichment for Nonhuman
Primates (Revised April, 2001).
| Social housing is the primary strategy for the nonhuman
primates at Yerkes/Emory and will continue to be promoted
as an appropriate means of providing enrichment when it
is compatible with ongoing and anticipated research protocols,
animals' health and general well-being. [p.1]
One could suppose that the nine monkeys with the surgically implanted
chronically indwelling venous catheters for i.v. administration of
drugs might be monkeys exempted by the above statement concerning
compatibility with ongoing research protocols. Maybe other monkeys
would attempt to pull the tubes from their necks and thighs. But the
point of placing the monkeys in the nylon mesh jackets is exactly
to block access to the tubes. If a monkey was unable to access the
catheter in his neck or thigh due to the protective jacket, it remains
to be seen how a cage mate might be able to do so.
The Emory University Policy on Environmental Enrichment for Nonhuman
Primates (Revised April, 2001) states:
|Protected contact is a feasible means for providing
social contact to animals that otherwise could have none.
While the behavioral, clinical, and physiological effects
of full socialization have been studied extensively, there
is little information on the effect of protected contact
socialization (i.e. with grooming panels between caging).
However, there is some evidence that protected contact
housing confers behavioral benefits similar (Baker 1999)
to what is observed under conditions of full-access social
housing. [p. 2].
It remains to be seen why these monkeys were not afforded even "protected
contact." And what of the other seven monkeys? The paper is not
clear regarding the way they were used and mentions nothing concerning
2. "All animal-use procedures were in strict accordance with
the National Institutes of Health Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory
Animals and were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use
Committee at Emory University."
It needs to be stated and stated again: no oversight body -- neither
the U.S. Department of Agriculture, through the Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Service, nor the National Institutes of Health, and certainly
not the researcher-staffed Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
at Emory University -- saw anything wrong, from an ethical or moral
perspective, with this experiment. What was done to the monkeys was
3. It must be inferred that the monkeys were considered to be "materials."
Returning to the paper:
|Apparatus. During experimental sessions, subjects were
seated comfortably in a Plexiglas chair within a sound-attenuating
enclosure. Illumination was provided by either of two
pairs of 7-W a.c. colored lights (red and white) mounted
on the front wall of the chair just above eye level. A
response lever (E21-03; Coulbourn Instruments, Allentown,
PA) mounted on the wall facing the monkey registered a
response and operated a feedback relay when depressed
with a downward force of >0.2 N. In experiments with
a stimulus-termination schedule, the subject's tail was
held motionless in a small stock, and two brass plates
rested on a shaved portion near the end. Electrode cream
(The Lumiscope Co., Inc., Edison, NJ) applied to the tail
minimized changes in impedance between the tail and the
brass plates when a 4-mA electric stimulus of 200-ms duration
was delivered. In drug-discrimination experiments, the
subjects faced two retractable response levers (E-23-07;
Coulbourn Instruments) placed 10 cm apart horizontally.
Food pellets (190-mg sucrose pellets with fruit punch
flavor; P.J. Noyes Co., Lancaster, NH) were delivered
individually into a tray positioned between the levers.
In drug self-administration experiments, the distal end
of the venous catheter was connected via polyvinyl chloride
tubing to a motor-driven syringe located outside the test
chamber. The syringe was driven by a 100-V a.c. motor
that was controlled by electronic circuitry to yield a
precise injection volume of 0.2 ml. Microcomputers controlled
experimental events and recorded and stored data. Continuous
white noise and an exhaust fan masked extraneous sounds
during all sessions, and subjects were tested 5 days per
Stimulus-Termination Schedule. Monkeys S-87, S-91, S-93,
S-98, S-111, S-115, and S-122 were trained under a fixed-interval
(FI) 300-s schedule of stimulus termination (Morse and
Kelleher, 1966) with a 3-s limited hold. A red light illuminated
the experimental chamber during the FI and, after 300
s elapsed, the animal had 3 s to press the lever and terminate
the light that was associated with an impending electric
stimulus. When the animal pressed the lever during the
limited hold, a white light was illuminated for 2 s, followed
by a 60-s timeout during which the chamber was darkened
and responses had no scheduled consequences. In the absence
of a response during the 3-s limited hold, a 4-mA stimulus
was delivered once for 200 ms followed by a 60-s timeout.
A daily session comprised 13 consecutive FI 300-s components,
each followed by a 60-s timeout. Complete dose-effect
curves were established for RTI-113 (0.03-1.0 mg/kg),
cocaine (0.03-3.0 mg/kg), and GBR 12909 (0.03-3.0 mg/kg)
by injecting graded doses i.v. during the 60-s timeout
that preceded FI components 2, 5, 8, and 11. The time
course of effects of RTI-113 (0.1 mg/kg), cocaine (0.3
mg/kg), and GBR 12909 (1.0 mg/kg) was determined by injecting
a single dose i.m. 5 s before a session comprising 20
consecutive FI 300-s components. Typically, drug experiments
were conducted on Tuesday and Friday, and saline (control)
was administered on Thursday. Each drug dose was studied
at least twice in each monkey.
Let's try to put this in understandable terms -- without all the pseudoscientific
gibberish the Yerkes scientists have dressed it in:
The monkeys were trapped in a chair-like restraint device inside a
plastic box. The notion that they were seated comfortably is a subjective
bit of conscience-salving self-protection by the scientists. Their
tail was shaved and clamped between two metal plates so that the monkeys
could be shocked. A light in front of them came on and they had three
seconds to pull a lever to keep from being shocked. Then, one of three
different drugs was injected through the tube that had been sewn into
their body, and the light came on again. This was repeated thirteen
times a day for five days a week. (The researchers rested over the
weekend.) The point of all of this was to see how much of the drug
it took for the monkey to not be able to press the lever in time to
avoid the shock.
This is what's termed Science by Yerkes. This is how animals are "well
cared for" at Yerkes. Cocaine is a cash-cow for Yerkes.
Similar experiment have been on-going at Yerkes for a long time. In
fact, the restraint device -- the chair in the plastic box -- was
designed by a Yerkes cocaine researcher name Larry Byrd whom the researchers
above cite when describing the restraint apparatus: Byrd L. D. (1979)
The behavioral effects of cocaine: Rate dependency or rate constancy.
European Journal of Pharmacology 56: 355-362.
As if this cruel nonsense were not enough to impel citizens to force
the closure of this modern Auswitz, consider a few of the other experiment
A. A. Anasari <email@example.com>
was studying the differences of SIV progression in two species of
monkeys. He noted no difference in disease progression. He received
$317,552 for this study. He has moved on to cocaine and SIV; he is
studying the effects of cocaine exposure on the vasculature of monkeys
infected with SIV.
James T. Winslow <firstname.lastname@example.org>
states, [We] will examine the interaction of decreased central
serotonin with the effects of acute alcohol administration, the incidence
of excessive alcohol self-administration in a free-choice ethanol
self-administration paradigm . . .[in] juvenile [rhesus] monkeys reared
in peer groups with mother reared monkeys who are either intact or
have been depleted of brain serotonin following administration of
neurotoxic doses of MDMA. Winslow is affiliated with Living
Francis J. Novembre <email@example.com>
seems to feel that referring to chimpanzees by their serial number
rather than by their name will make his Mengele-like experiments sound
scientific and less criminal. He reported: "At the time that
C499 developed illness, blood was transfused from this animal to an
uninfected animal, C455, to further examine the pathogenesis of virus
infection." Novembre was avoiding saying that before Jerom (C499
) died, he was paralyzed with a drug so that some of his blood could
be taken. Then his blood was forcibly injected into Nathan (C455)
to see if he would also become hideously sick and die in a similar
Liars or Ignoramuses?
And, Yerkes simply lies. Or, maybe only ignoramuses work there. In
either event, they repeatedly make false statements. From the Yerkes
| What Do Animal Rights
Activists Do To Actually Help Animals?
Despite the fact that an estimated 7 to 18 million animals
annually face euthanasia in pounds, animal rights groups
do not contribute to shelters, pounds, or humane societies
any of the millions of dollars they collect each year.
The money is spent instead on staging media events, vandalism
and destruction of property, cross-country travel to protests,
posting bail, attorney fees, and filing legal claims.
None of the activist groups runs an animal facility or
sanctuary, though sanctuaries are sorely needed.
Some national animal rights organizations do, in fact, support and
operate sanctuaries. In Defense of Animals operates Project Hope in
Mississippi. Approximately one hundred and fifty dogs, cats, horses,
pigs, chickens, and other animals have found refuge there. Black Beauty
Ranch, run by the Fund for Animals is a fourteen hundred acre haven
for rescued animals. Many sanctuaries, such as Farm Sanctuary, are
operated by people who do see themselves as activists. Why doesn't
Yerkes know of these facilities? Are they just lying, or simply ignoramuses?
But maybe Yerkes, due to its focus on primates, is unaware of what
is occurring in the animal activist community regarding cows, horses,
sheep, dogs, cats, and animals other than monkeys and apes. But then,
why don't they know that the Animal Protection Institute operates
the Texas Snow Monkey Sanctuary? Why don't they know that the International
Primate Protection League operates a gibbon sanctuary in South Carolina?
Why don't they know that In Defense of Animals operates a chimpanzee
rescue center in Cameroon, Africa?
Maybe they do know about these facilities. Maybe Yerkes is simply
so used to lying to the public about what it is accomplishing and
about what they really do to animals in the labs, that lying about
those who are criticizing their behavior comes as naturally to them
as addicting baby monkeys to cocaine and alcohol.
Also from the Yerkes website:
Yerkes supports and follows the guidelines that have been
established by the Animal Welfare Act (U.S. Department
of Agriculture), the Public Health Service Policy on the
Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, the American Association
for the Accreditation of Laboratory Animals Care (considered
the "gold standard" for humane and sanitary
lab animal care) and Emory's own Institutional Animal
Care and Use Committee. Yerkes is visited regularly by
these groups and all animal protocols, programs and facilities
must regularly pass rigorous inspection. These rules and
policies govern all aspects of the use of animals in any
given study. Interestingly, the guidelines for conducting
research on animals are considerably more stringent than
those for research on humans.
No oversight body -- neither the U.S. Department of Agriculture, through
the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, nor the National Institutes
of Health, nor the American Association for the Accreditation of Laboratory
Animals Care (claimed to be the "gold standard" for humane
and sanitary lab animal care by the labs themselves) and certainly
not the researcher-staffed Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
at Emory University sees anything wrong, from an ethical or moral
perspective, with the experiments at Yerkes. What is being done to
the monkeys and chimpanzees is just fine.
And finally, Yerkes says: "Interestingly, the guidelines for
conducting research on animals are considerably more stringent than
those for research on humans." This presupposes that either those
reading this garbage have absolutely no idea what is happening inside
Yerkes, or else, that those reading this garbage are so stupid that
they will actually believe that the rules allowing scientists to strap
monkeys into chairs inside plastic boxes and shock them repeatedly
are more stringent than the rules protecting human research subjects.
For the record: Yerkes is not an anomaly. Yerkes is the norm. It is
the average primate lab. The only thing that keeps these monstrosities
in operation is your silence.
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