The University of Wisconsin-Madison is engaged in a public debate with a medical doctor who posted a petition on Change.org that has gathered nearly 350,000 signatures so far. The petition accuses the university of engaging in unethical practices in its psychiatric experiments involving inducing anxiety in baby monkeys.
“The experiments, led by Dr. Ned Kalin, will take newborn rhesus macaque monkeys away from their mothers (who have been restrained or drugged against their will while their baby is removed),” states the petition. “The defenseless baby monkeys are then sent to solitary confinement — where they are terrorized and exposed to anxiety-inducing stressors including live snakes, painful skin-punch biopsies, and stressful brain scans. After this relentless torture, they are killed before the age of two.”
In a public statement, the university explains that the animals will not be “terrorized,” and do not experience “relentless torture.”
“Most of their time is spent as a house pet would spend its days — grooming, sleeping, eating and playing with toys, puzzles and other animals,” states the university. And the intention of the experiment, they explain, “is not to demonstrate that removing a monkey from its mother causes anxiety.” Rather, the intention is to produce anxiety symptoms so that researchers can study the anxiety using “state-of-the-art techniques to observe and measure even very subtle differences in brain chemistry and structure. Those chemical and anatomical differences may suggest new treatments — via nutrition, exercise, meditation, drugs or another approach — for people suffering from mental illness.”
University of Wisconsin: Cancel The Unethical Torture and Killing of Baby Monkeys! (Change.org Petition)
Responding to Ruth Decker’s change.org petition (University of Wisconsin)