Tell UW-Madison: “Don’t Torture Baby Monkeys With Our
What is about to happen at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is the stuff of which horror stories are made: Baby monkeys are going to be pulled away from their mothers at birth, isolated and emotionally abused, and then killed—all in the name of science.
In a misguided effort to study depression in humans, and with no regard to the complex social and emotional states of nonhuman primates, UW-Madison researchers are going to once again begin subjecting newborn rhesus monkeys to maternal deprivation studies. After a year, the monkeys—along with a control group who were allowed to remain with their mothers—will all be killed so their brains can be studied and compared.
UW-Madison has a long, unpleasant history of dubious experiments on monkeys, dating back to Harry Harlow’s primate isolation work the 1950s. Over the intervening years, students and colleagues of Harlow—and even Harlow himself—openly admitted that such experiments were all but useless, resulting in no new information, and having no appreciable advancement of our understanding of human development.
The same will undoubtedly hold true for UW-Madison’s next round of tests, most of which amount to nothing more than psychological abuse—at one point, the tests call for frightening the monkeys with a live snake! The experiments will no doubt generate data of some sort, but none that will be applicable to human depression, which is not manifested through artificially-imposed means.
UW-Madison’s legacy of bad science also comes at a great cost—not only to the primates, but to taxpayers who have footed the bill, which has exceeded $8 million.
Maternal deprivation experiments such as those about to commence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have been discredited for decades—and with good reason. They are cruel and inconclusive tactics which should have been long ago relegated to the dustbin of time.
Contact University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-262-2321 and tell him NOT to allow baby monkeys to be subjected to morally indefensible, financially irresponsible and scientifically worthless experiments.