ALDF Calls On USDA to Investigate Potential Animal Welfare Act Violations in “Terror Tests” at University Of Wisconsin

Posted on August 14, 2014

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Controversial Maternal Deprivation Testing on Infant Monkeys May Have Skirted Approval Protocol

For immediate release:

Lisa Franzetta, ALDF
Megan Backus, ALDF


Stock image of a rhesus macaque. (CC Tomosuke214)

MADISON, Wis. — Today, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to investigate possible violations of the Animal Welfare Act in the protocol-approval process for maternal deprivation studies on baby monkeys at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Animal Welfare Act—the federal law that protects animals used for experiments in laboratories—requires each member of the approval committee to be provided notice of planned tests. Instead, as ALDF’s letter notes, the University’s Animal Care and Use Committees improperly delegated approval to only a few committee members rather than the full committees—which include a bioethicist opposed to these deprivation tests.

Dr. Ned H. Kalin’s experiments entail removing newborn rhesus macaques from anesthetized or restrained mothers. The infant primates are then confined in isolation for weeks, exposed to anxiety-inducing stressors including a live snake, and subjected to painful skin-punch biopsies and stressful brain scans. The babies are killed before they reach their second birthdays.

The end-goal of these experiments is to evaluate the difference in dissected brains between traumatized and non-traumatized infant monkeys. A growing consensus has criticized these tests for intentionally causing needless suffering of infants in order to study what has already been conclusively proven: that traumatic injury and the psychological experience of terror changes brain matter.

“These horrific experiments on infant monkeys have raised significant concerns from the public as well as from the university’s own review committee,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of ALDF. “We urge the USDA to investigate the legality of a process in which a highly controversial set of tests were approved by only a few people on a committee, potentially over the heads of dissenting members.”

ALDF’s letter is available by request.

82 thoughts on “ALDF Calls On USDA to Investigate Potential Animal Welfare Act Violations in “Terror Tests” at University Of Wisconsin

  1. Aixa Fielder says:

    I can’t believe these experiments on animals. Cruel and
    unnecessary. Not only University of Wisconsin, including
    many other investigations Universities are out of control.

  2. Anne Haggerty says:

    This is disgusting and aberrant and must stop now. The USDA is an organization that continues to abuse animals and enable others to do so. Sickening!

  3. Berit Klit Madsen says:

    empathy :)

  4. Roger Kristmansson says:

    This is barbaric and cruel and has no reason to exist.

  5. Kelly B. says:

    This is why I’m a supporter of ALDF. We cannot continue this kind of cruelty for that sake of bad science, or any science for that matter. How can anyone, let alone a University support such cruelty? I’m so glad we have ALDF to help us fight this.

  6. Carole Hope says:

    Absolutely disgusting, what type of people do deprived acts to animals, must be stopped,

  7. Sherrill Polk says:

    I am so outraged at how the government still allows primate centers and Universities to continue to torture animals in such barbaric ways.

    Animal testing should be banned. They are not humans. We do not have the same systemic system.

    I agree with Anne Haggerty, it is SICKENING.

  8. Kathy McCoy says:

    STOP THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. C Berg says:

    Cruelty in the most horrific way.

  10. Laurie A McRae says:

    To the heartless “inhuman beings” who perform these CRUEL acts, think long & hard about this: Would you perform the same tests on human children? I think not! If you wouldn’t do it to a human child, DON’T DO IT TO A FUR CHILD!

  11. Annette Howell says:

    Sorry, but I hate this University – first I heard how they test on cats and now this!!! This has to stop!!!

    1. Gumboz1953 says:

      Baby monkeys are scared of snakes, and it changes their brains. Which Einstein needed to waste taxpayer money to prove this?

      Isn’t this the same group of dingbats who tortured cats some time back?

  12. Tonya Nooner-May says:

    Please put an end to this NOW!

  13. Rob Smith says:

    More needless and cruel testing. I think these experiments tells us more about the psychology of the researchers than it does about primate neuroscience.

  14. Jacqueline Kolb says:

    Is there a petition we can sign and circulate? Thank you for spreading awareness!

  15. Donna Williams says:

    The only thing proven here is the corrupt soul of mankind.

  16. Humans must change bullying helpless living creatures

  17. Lynette Lusse says:

    This sounds like someone trying to keep themselves employed. There is no reason why any animals should be subjected to tests like these. We all know the results of traumatic events ( which happen all the time )on people, but we don’t need another test to prove it. It won’t help any.
    It also is not ethical on any level.

  18. patty battaglio says:


  19. patty battaglio says:


  20. Megan Mahoney says:

    This is unbelievably cruel. Please don’t subject these beautiful and helpless creatures to such torture.

  21. Unauthorized tests were approved by only a few people on a committee, And it was potentially over the heads of dissenting members.”Those who over passed the rules and regulations should be fired.In any case Abuse is abuse and testing just to play with an animal’s body, knowing the test has no official benefit for the animal and the human result; should not be authorized any way. The DNA of a human do not match that of a monkey.Investigate Potential Animal Welfare Act Violations in “Terror Tests” at University Of Wisconsin.
    ”Fired the abuser, Irresponsible criminal.They should be Accountable of this crime, abuse of authority, and criminal body harm, hurting and destroying the life of these animals. If they deceived and dared to do this what else will they not do, against Authorized rules? This place should be closed permanently fo not been responsible to check what is going on behind their back when they are not there.Animals should not be use for testing it should be out law.Really.

  22. Lisa Berg says:

    Distugsting hu man behavior! Is this a federally funded program? Is my d@#m tax money going towards funding crap like this? This sickens me!

  23. Sara says:

    Lazy researchers, just trying to make a buck off of government grants, doing ghastly, unncessary and morally abhorrent tests. Someone should go to their house and scare them with snakes.

  24. Lisa Berg says:

    This is disgusting human behavior. Is this a federally funded program? Is my d@#m tax money going towards cruel crap like this? I am sickened!

  25. Mariah Dancing says:

    To quote Gandhi, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” …And, indeed, the greatness of the human race as well. Let’s, as a species, leave a better mark on this place we call home. Let’s leave our barbarism in the past and evolve to meet our potential. Let’s impress upon future generations that we were courageous enough to face our faults and correct them.

  26. Peggy Mondada says:

    I DO NOT want this redundant research conducted with my tax dollars. This is insane, heartless, and beyond inhumane! I hope if you choose to go forward with such “research” Wisconsin will face a boycott unlike any other in history. Unconscionable doesn’t begin to cover it!

  27. Horrible…just plain wrong…

  28. Rochelle Willis says:

    Why does man continue to dream up more torture on innocent animals – I am so tired of the human race.

  29. Cindy Phillips says:

    We are better than this! This is outdated, I need to stop immediately!!! This is unacceptable!!

  30. Lorita Bowgren says:

    What kind of people can watch that terror…..makes me wonder………..

  31. Deb MCMILLAN says:

    Completely appalling….pointless and totally unjustifiable.MUST BE STOPPED….obviously the concept of ‘ethics’ is completely foreign to these people…..

  32. Cindy Brown says:

    These tests are ridiculous and inhumane. Leave the babies alone. Better yet, why don’t the people conducting the experiment traumatize each other, not poor defenseless baby animals.

  33. Nahum Arlene Nicholas says:

    Is there a protest letter that we can sign to send to lawmakers and the university president?

  34. Crystal hood says:

    What can i do to help stop this Right Now

  35. Sheyda Ardalan says:

    Horrible behavior from “educated” people. This is completely unethical and unnecessary.

  36. Diane Myers says:

    This isn’t science when they subject babies to such horrific torture to study a fact that had been proven over and over . This is simply people with a degree thinking they are above the rest of the community in justifying their perverse pleasures. Enough ! You are giving REAL Universities and REAL scientists a bad name. Come on America where are your morals

  37. Darby Atler says:

    Stop testing on these babies enough is enough❗️

  38. Lisa LeBlanc says:

    This is revolting. It’s state-funded cruelty for cruelty’s sake. It wraps itself in pseudo-science – like injecting dye into the eyes of human twins. It is the repeated and systematic torture of an animal with no thought as to the process or conclusion; the ‘data’ as such, has already been proven.
    It is the epitome of insanity – the performance of a behavior over and over in the hopes of a different outcome. It is psychotic abuse suborning psychotic abuse and proves nothing above what already empirically exists in nearly every walk of human life.
    Perhaps these tests should performed on unwilling researchers, just to test THEIR responses.

  39. Jerri says:

    What is the matter with these people. This is animal abuse. You guys are a sick group of people. How do you go home and feel good about your day. I hope you have nightmares and when your days on earth end you get to take that sick karma with you. Good you deserve it

  40. Deana Prince says:

    This is unnecessary and disgusting anyone that participates in this should be ashamed. This needs to STOP NOW!!!!!!

    Do the right thing and stop testing on animals we are here to protect them not harm them.

    These poor babies deserve a hero stop testing enough already.

  41. Gail says:

    Its ludicrous how, apparently, intelligent scientists think they’ll get the same results from an animal to that of a human child. Just for starters the difference in species, but also the monkeys are BORN into stress. Their mothers are stressed for whole ingestion and after birth so the monkeys begin that way. The human babies experience freedom and joy, the monkeys don’t. There is no comparable justification even from the start.
    And what is this testing to solve or prove? That children need help to get through a traumatic childhood? A new drug for our poor children? These intelligent scientists have no brains at all if they can’t figure out that trauma changes our bodies, be cheaper to go speak to a doctor lol. Imbeciles. Not to mention teaching students it’s ‘ok’ to harm animals if they can justify it with b/s.

  42. How can these people be so mean and cruel?!?! Why do such things to these poor defenseless animals?! Of course they’re going to react and feel pain like any other animal or human!!!

  43. Andres Felipe Buritica Vargas says:

    Totally absurd!! It’s wrong and twisted. It hurts me so much. Can’t believe it

  44. Avril Brown says:

    This is ‘Nothing but BARBARIC & SADISTIC’
    It MUST be BANNED !!!

  45. Daniele Halle says:

    Stop those atrocities u psychos

  46. Leontine Davidson says:

    This is cruelty and makes me wonder about the researchers or the people doing it – who could stand by and do such a thing? How can they sleep at night? It is sickening and must be stopped. Thank you Animal Legal Defense Fund for bring this to our attention and we must find a way to legally make this end.

  47. Coby Carwile says:

    Anyone who takes part in these so called tests is a sociopath and has no soul.

  48. s murray says:

    I undertand the need to determine brain chemistry as it relates to the environment HOWEVER…..Looked up Dr. Ned Kalin on the internet – Is he really doing something innovative here? DUH! I think not! This is NOT NEW information he is providing – he is simply funding his salary. Very simple: certain behaviors engender certain outcomes as we have known for perhaps centuries – and more recently we know that these include the chemistry withn the brain which results in long term affects. So who needs to do this to primates AGAIN? Someone securing his salary? Lets keep the $$ coming in to fund a lifestyle and retirement $$ perhaps? Very sad that someone with intelligence, academic accomplishments and years of experience can justify these actions. Makes me wonder where this person would draw the line!

  49. Sue says:

    I can’t believe they are doing this. It must stop NOW!!! And then to kill the babies as if they and their mothers mean absolutely NOTHING and have no feelings, is atrocious. All horror like this – and there is plenty of it – must stop.

  50. Laurie Pigeon says:

    Why do this again? What can be gained by reintroducing something that has already been studied and a “scientific” conclusion drawn. This is not scientific, it’s absurd….those behind , and conducting these experiments, should actually be embarrassed, because the world is now knowledgeable enough to understand just how genuinely stupid this is….no one believes it has any validity, which it most certainly does not.

  51. Lois Watson says:

    No more caged animals! No torturing animals!
    There is NOTHING we need that we have to kill
    Animals for.

  52. Gwen Hoffman says:

    How many times do they need to repeat a study?Stop the barbaric, self important researchers. A study just for the sake of finding something to do. There is no valid reason to terrify an innocent baby. They know what the outcome will be before they start. It’s time to put those so called researchers in a cage, with a few less than harmless snakes.

  53. Patti Lisenbee says:

    no more testing on animals for any reason! If the scientists want to observe what terror does to animals, let them go to the jungle and watch nature at work. I think they’ll learn something of the nature of terror themselves. And to test on babies? The worst shame of all. These are not scientists, they’re abusers.

  54. Casey Colleen Brazell says:

    I can not believe that a human would do such a things as conduct these “experiments” which are really torture of animals. THIS HAS TO STOP! Only sick individuals would do this, and you are definitely not HUMAN!This doesn’t even show the things you monsters have done to cats!

  55. Samantha Buck says:


  56. Mary Ann Sparrow says:

    What is the point of the test? What are we to achieve by terrorizing the poor baby animal? Do we do that to our own children? Why not? Because…it is just not right! Stop it now. No more test on poor animals. You’ve been testing on so many animals for all decades and decades and no one is closer to finding any cure to anything! Let GOD do the work!

  57. Cheri Pilant says:

    Another reason to avoid WI as a vacation site or to purchase their products. Their government has no conscience.

  58. Kay says:

    I am sharing this because tests like this have to be stopped. There is no justification for such horrific, sadistic, barbaric, cruel and inhumane tests on animals. I am calling for an investigation of these maternal deprivation tests. Get with the 21st century, University of WI. You already know what the results of these tests will be. You are just so very, very greedy to keep taking money from the government to conduct these tests. And the government is just as guilty for making these funds that promote cruelty to animals available. It is time to end the grants. It is time to stop wasting our tax money. It is time to be responsible to the animals and their safety, welfare, and freedom from abuse, cruelty, pain and suffering. Use the computer models that are readily available. Give up the money you so greedily want to keep receiving for performing these horrific tests. Think about the animals for a change and use 21st century computer models to do your testing. Shame on you University of Wisconsin. I am genuinely ashamed to be from WI.

  59. Kay says:

    This must be stopped at all labratories and universities and whereever tests like these are conducted. We live in the 21st century. Stop the greed. Stop giving grants to torture and murder innocent animals. And the sneaky way WI did this is totally disgusting–granting only a few that they knew would vote in favor of this the right to vote. This is fraud. This is unjustifiable and unforgiveable. I hope the students attending the University of WI have knowledge of this fraudulent activity and protest. I hope the students of the University of WI have knowledge of this and protest the barbaric, horrific, sadistic abuse their University is forcing on these poor, innocent anmals. Get with the 21st century. Government, stop giving grants for such horrific experiements to any organization or university or labratory of any kind. Stop using my tax money to torture and kill innocent animals. I don’t want my tax money used for this, and I should have a say in whether my money should be used in this way or not. The answer is NOT–I DO NOT WANT MY TAX MONEY USED FOR ANY EXPERIMENT ON ANY ANIMAL IN ANY TYPE OF FACILTY FOR ANY REASON.

  60. Deborah Hughson says:

    This is absurd any bsby taken from its mother would be terrorized!!! Sounds like keeping someone son the payroll for no apparent reason !!!! BAN THIS DISGUSTING PRACTICE!!!

  61. Unknowingly, the only study being carried out is one of these researcher’s cold cruelty, inhumanity, and astonishing stupidity. Unfortunately, the results are as expected. STOP THIS NOW.

  62. Robin Lowy says:

    This must stop. There is nothing to be learned for torture…EVER!

  63. Jessica L. DeKam says:

    There’s is absolutely nothing we can learn from this except how human beings can stand by while an innocent infant is being scared, confused, terrorized, and traumatized for life for nothing! We already know the outcome of this you sociopathic, horrible, evil people. You’re causing irrepairable damage to the poor innocent souls all for what!??? This is inhuman at it’s height. This is disturbing and wrong on so many levels. Primates are the closest to human beings, so the horror that an infant child would feel without a mother being terrorized is exactly how these baby monkies feel. This has to STOP!!!

    1. Jessica L. DeKam says:

      Please forgive the misspelling as you can’t correct anything!

  64. Dana Moore says:

    I agree with Kay! This is just sick and sad all the way around. These animals are no different from us except they are better!!! THE HUMAN RACE IS BARBARIC AND INSENSATIVE!

  65. jamie says:

    Is their a petition I we can sign to stop this non sense?

  66. Linda Norman says:

    Would these researchers consent to these tests on their own newborn babies? Of course not. This senseless and heartless. Please stop this!!

  67. Amy says:

    This is so wrong. Please stop and prove that there is compassion.

  68. Sarah E says:

    Foolish and cruel. Knowledge is light years beyond what this stupid experiment could possibly show, which obviously will be the symptoms of stress and fear.

  69. Paul Jenkins says:

    Until the personhood of animals is acknowledged, we will have to continue these persistent efforts to expose cruelty and injustice on their behalf.

  70. cheryl says:

    mad scientist ! stop!

  71. lynn says:

    Go ALDF. I am so grateful you are acting
    for all of us and the poor animals to put an end to these torturous “scientific” studies.
    Thank you. I honestly don’t know how these
    scientists sleep at night. Despicable. Inhuman.

  72. sandra lynn smith says:

    animals bleed and feel pain too! why don’t they use criminals in prison on death row!!!!

  73. Lindi R says:

    These kinds of tests were done on monkeys in the 50’s with predictable results. Are they repeating the same BS studies just to get research grants? Wisconsin is the home of really bizarre animals cruelty! Get a freaking life Wisconsin! Stop profiting off the suffering of innocent animals!

  74. marty zaluski says:

    Please post the University’s Animal Care and Use Committees study approval and study narrative.

  75. Erica Davis says:

    These are terrible , outdated and disgusting. Someone needs to do some Human research to figure out how some people can commit such atrocities and label it “science”

  76. cynthia Gumke says:

    What kind of person even does these tests? U really have to be sick

  77. Judy Redditt says:

    It is nothing but a racket to extort taxpayer money for these researchers. There is nothing to be gained by these experiments, they have been doing them since the eighteenth century, and if they haven’t gotten the answers by now, they never will. Please stop the useless and unnessary experiments now!

  78. Mercedes Caraco says:


    Animal cruelty is a crime, and the abuse, torture and pain of an animal should not be allowed in colleges or universities. They should not have any permission to torture any animal species.

  79. Jo Ardell says:

    These Ppl who experiment on helpless Animals, are not normal, but are sick individuals, devoid of Love and Empathy, and Compassion. The Cruel experiments Must Stop!

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