Maternal deprivation experiments on baby monkeys are a textbook example of unethical psychological research, and they need to stop. Hundreds of infant monkeys are being torn away from their mothers, causing them to suffer from psychoses at a US National Institutes of Health (NIH) laboratory. So when Dr Stephen J Suomi, the head experimenter on baby monkeys at NIH, was to speak in Cardiff at the annual general meeting of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, I, along with another activist, decided to make my voice heard and interrupted his keynote speech.
Suomi is responsible for tormenting baby monkeys in disgustingly cruel and archaic experiments that cause them to experience severe anxiety, fear, pain and depression. Some of the monkeys bite at their own flesh and pull out their own hair. This was all revealed following the release of hours of video footage and hundreds of photographs and documents obtained by PETA US from NIH through a contested Freedom of Information Act request. After watching the video below, any compassionate person would wonder how Suomi can sleep at night.
We’re in the age of brain imaging and superior human-based research that allows us to study the causes and treatments of mental illness in humans without terrorising animals in traumatic experiments. Yet videos revealed that experimenters laughed while infant monkeys were being terrorised, screaming frantically and trying to escape and hide. This is not science – it’s violence.
We were escorted from the premises but not before we unfurled our posters and made sure that the conference attendees were aware of the cruelty that occurs in Suomi’s labs.
Will you join us in speaking out about this cruelty by signing PETA US’ action alert and sharing?