Mobile Billboard Protests Controversial, Secretive “Terror Tests” On Baby MonkeysPosted on May 11, 2015
Animal Protection Groups Send Billboard Through Madison to Raise Awareness of University of Wisconsin’s Archaic, Cruel Experiments
For immediate release:
Megan Backus, ALDF
Hannah West, Alliance for Animals
MADISON — An eye-catching mobile billboard will be rolling through Madison this week to draw attention to the highly controversial torture of baby monkeys in experiments conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The billboard is part of the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund’s (ALDF) and Wisconsin’s Alliance for Animals’ ongoing campaign to stop the experiments. The billboard toured Milwaukee May 6-10 on its loop beginning at 17th and Wisconsin and headed East through Marquette campus, and it now heads to Madison, where it will be displayed May 11-15.
Newborn rhesus macaques undergo terror-inducing experiences in experiments, including unfamiliar “human intruders” and live snakes. The babies’ blood and cerebrospinal fluid will be repeatedly harvested, and they will be subjected to invasive brain scans. Before the infants are 18 months old, researchers will kill them and dissect their brains. The goal is to cause such severe trauma to the newborns that their brain chemistry will change before the age of one.
In October 2014, ALDF filed a lawsuit to compel the disclosure of public records concerning these taxpayer-funded experiments. According to the lawsuit, the university illegally ignored its obligations under Wisconsin’s open records law to release full records of federally-mandated animal welfare committee meetings in which the controversial experiments were approved. The University has consistently denied public access to these records, despite being obligated to do so under the law. This spring, Governor Scott Walker attempted to exempt the University from disclosing these records.
In March 2015, after massive public outcry about these extreme experiments, the university claimed it would allegedly no longer remove infants from their mothers. But no independent confirmation of this change and no guarantees the tests will be less painful or traumatic to the babies have been made. Meanwhile, more than 430,000 people have signed a Change.org petition demanding an end to the tests.
“It’s time for the University of Wisconsin to stop baby monkey torture tests—and we’re bringing that message to their front door,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of ALDF. “The public, who may not know their tax dollars are funding archaic and inhumane terror tests, have a right to know, and that’s what this campaign is bringing to light.”
The mobile billboard image file, and it’s route, are available upon request.