Victory! The Colombian environmental agency Corporación Autónoma Regional del Valle del Cauca (CVC) has just ordered the couple responsible for a nightmare of a laboratory to end all experiments on monkeys and announced its intent to seize the animals suffering there.
This great news follows PETA’s 18-month investigation into this decrepit facility, known euphemistically as the Primate Center Foundation, where tiny owl monkeys are imprisoned in rusty cages inside a makeshift outdoor pen.
Now politicians are stepping in.
Terry Hurtado, a local council member, has mobilized his supporters, promoted news of PETA’s exposé in local media, and opened important communication channels for PETA’s work, including with Colombian senators.
Esmeralda Hernández and Fabián Díaz, both members of the Colombian Senate, are working to ensure that the travesty of the Primate Center Foundation won’t be repeated. Hernández is working on legislation that would move oversight responsibility of regional environmental agencies, which are currently autonomous, to the national Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development to ensure that they do their job to protect animals.
Díaz, who has filed his own complaint with national and regional government oversight entities, is also working with Hernández to propose a political control debate, which is akin to a Congressional hearing in the U.S. It’s the tool Colombian members of Congress use to hold agencies accountable. Colombian Sen. Andrea Padilla has also expressed her support for this action.
The CVC’s recent inspection of the laboratory, prompted by our investigation, found unmitigated suffering, including the filthy, apparently illegal conditions that we first exposed as well as the unexplained disappearance of 21 monkeys. While on site, inspectors discovered a dead baby monkey and a monkey who was missing an eye (photos below).
PETA continues to work with Colombian authorities, lawmakers, and primate experts to oversee the removal of the monkeys so that they can enjoy their lives in peace and dignity.
Crickets From NIH
Although Colombian authorities and politicians have rightfully taken notice of and were moved to action by PETA’s discoveries, back here in the U.S., the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has said nothing. For years, the agency has bankrolled this shameful operation with millions in taxpayer dollars, and it continues to fund the experiments that were just ordered to end.
PETA, in a new letter to NIH officials, has once again urged them to cease any association with these companies immediately. We seek the cancellation of the current National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases contracts and the return of any money paid to support them. We’re also asking for an investigation into the credible claims of lack of scientific integrity.