Since 2019, we have been working with Congress to shut down and defund wasteful and cruel experiments on primates in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs laboratories.
Congress has enacted WCW-backed legislation to phase-out the VA’s experiments on primates (and dogs and cats) by 2025, but we just scored a major victory that cleans up some of this waste and abuse much sooner.
For years, the Minneapolis VA has been squandering millions of tax dollars on wasteful schizophrenia experiments on monkeys. The project received a total of over $7 million in taxpayer funds, including $3 million in 2021 alone.
Using the Freedom of Information Act, our investigators exposed that these disturbing and contrived tests involved drilling holes into monkeys’ skulls and injecting them with drugs including the hallucinogenic street drug PCP (AKA ANGEL DUST!) to damage their brains. The experimenters then forced the monkeys to watch or point to objects on a screen to measure the extent of the brain damage.
As you might imagine, the monkeys don’t like this very much, so the experimenters screw posts in their heads to forcibly immobilize them during experimental trials. They also withhold water for extensive periods of time so the monkeys will do anything just for a sip.
A scathing July 2019 internal VA report obtained by WCW via FOIA found that the Minneapolis VA was abusing monkeys by restricting water to primates for extensive periods of time and not keeping track of how long! Additionally, the VA found that laboratory staff didn’t know how to prepare, label or store the PCP that was being given to the primates.
Documents we obtained also show that the lab refused to retire monkeys at the end of testing, and instead killed them unnecessarily.
But, here’s the good news: Last year, the project was extended for several more years and approved to use even more monkeys, but we’ve just uncovered that the experiments were ended early. Army veteran and Waste Warrior Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), who has been leading efforts to cut wasteful VA animal testing, confirmed the win directly with the VA.
This historic victory wouldn’t have been possible without your advocacy and generosity!
Help us build on this momentum! Sign our petition telling the VA and other federal labs to end all of their taxpayer-funded primate experiments!