Davis, Calif. – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has filed a lawsuit against the Regents of the University of California to compel the University of California–Davis (UC-Davis) to release video footage from the school’s taxpayer-funded experiments on monkeys, as required by the California Public Records Act.
The experiments in question include separating baby monkeys from their mothers, isolating them in cages, and then subjecting them to a variety of “stressful situations,” including having a human “intruder” walk up to their cage or being shown videos of other monkeys demonstrating aggressive behavior. UC-Davis has denied PETA’s request for these and other video recordings of primate experiments, citing “researcher’s privilege”—a term that doesn’t appear in the text of California’s open-records law. PETA first requested the video footage in November 2017. After a long delay, UC-Davis provided a small amount of it (available here) and withheld the rest.
“Our tax dollars are being used to terrorize infant monkeys, and UC-Davis is trying to keep it secret,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “The university is obligated under the law to release this video footage, and they’re fighting it because they apparently don’t want the public to see these monkeys’ misery.”
PETA notes that UC-Davis currently holds more than 4,500 monkeys, who are used in experiments or for breeding. Since 2013, the university has been cited for at least 24 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act—one of the worst track records in the nation—including for multiple incidents in which monkeys escaped from their enclosures and died from subsequent injuries, as well as for failing to provide basic veterinary care.
A copy of the lawsuit is available upon request.
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382