NIH Research Spends Taxpayer Dollars Frightening Monkeys in Cages

Federal taxpayers have shelled out millions of dollars to pay for wasteful and bizarre psychological experiments on monkeys and intentionally frightening them with mechanical snakes and plastic spiders, according to an animal rights watchdog group, The Washington Times reports.

The White Coat Waste Project (WCW) released video Monday that it obtained from the National Institutes of Health showing the experiments. The monkey experiments have yet to produce drugs or cures for ailments.

“These experiments have been funded for 43 straight years with no benefit to anybody,” said Justin Goodman, a vice president of White Coat Waste Project. “Some people have made a career out of torturing monkeys.”

The Washington Times contacted the NIH  about the video and the institute asked for a written list of questions to be submitted. It had not replied to the questions.

The WCW says the experiment to frighten monkeys has run for more than a decade at a cost of $16 million, while NIH’s broader primate research has cost nearly $100 million since 2007. The Waste Project said it is a taxpayer-funded fear factory.

In the released video clip, a technician puts a mechanical snake or rubber spider in front of a monkey chained inside a cage. When the cage screen is lifted, the monkey visibly recoils and grips the bars of the cage, rocking back and forth.

The Waste Project said it filed an open-records request from the NIH. The NIH admitted it had 50 hours of video, but WCW said it had to sue to force the government to release any of it.

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About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met and married an American journalist and moved to D.C. from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A. in Graphics, Media, and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

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