• July 16, 2024

Judge Denies Justice for Monkeys at UW-Madison; PETA Will Fight On to Save Them

For Immediate Release:
December 4, 2023

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Madison, Wis. – Dane County Judge Nia Trammell has declined to reconsider her refusal to appoint a special prosecutor, despite finding probable cause to believe that personnel at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Wisconsin National Primate Research Center (WNPRC) committed cruelty to animals in their mistreatment of Cornelius and Princess, two monkeys who were kept caged in solitary confinement in conditions of extreme privation for years at the WNPRC.

In June 2022, PETA filed a petition for a finding of probable cause on behalf of Cornelius and Princess following an undercover investigation into the WNPRC presenting overwhelming evidence of cruelty that the judge determined “shocks the conscience and is extraordinarily alarming.” Yet the judge has doubled down on her decision to give the WNPRC a free pass, and PETA predicts dire consequences for animals locked up in its bleak laboratories.

Cornelius, confined at the WNPRC. Photo: PETA

In the months that followed PETA’s lawsuit filing, WNPRC experimenters killed Princess and her unborn baby.

“If depriving sensitive and social animals of everything that makes their lives worth living isn’t considered cruelty in the state of Wisconsin, what is?” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA vows to continue fighting for monkeys imprisoned at the WNPRC and elsewhere until laboratory experimentation is extinct.”

Cornelius was born at the WNPRC in 2010. Known to experimenters only as #r10033, he was separated from his mother as an infant and was infected by experimenters with the dengue virus when he was 4 years old. As a baby, he suffered from full-body rashes. As a juvenile, he was plagued with persistent diarrhea, a common sign of stress in caged monkeys. Later, he was used as a breeder, subjected to repeated electro-ejaculation procedures, and warehoused in solitary confinement for years, adding psychological suffering to his existing torment.

Princess—known as #rh2519—was repeatedly bred, and her babies were taken away for experiments. She tore out nearly all her body hair, a form of self-mutilation indicative of extreme psychological distress. In November 2021, she was impregnated and used in an experiment in which both she and her fetus were killed.

After more than 60 years, 16,000 dead monkeys, and nearly $700 million in taxpayer funds, the WNPRC has produced zero cures for human diseases. PETA asks that UW-Madison release Cornelius to a reputable sanctuary.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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