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A History of Monkey Use in Research

The Humane Society of the United States

2009-2000      1999-1990      1989-1980      1979-1950

For more information relating to the history of monkeys used in research, check:


2007: The HSUS sends a letter to Nepalese ambassador regarding plans to trap and breed monkeys in Nepal and export them to two primate research facilities in the United States.

2006: The HSUS submits comments to the Fish and Wildlife Service opposing a permit requested by Yerkes National Primate Research Center which would allow Yerkes to donate money to conservation programs for wild sooty mangabeys in exchange for permission to conduct invasive research on members of this endangered species housed at their facility. Yerkes subsequently withdraws their permit request.

2005: At the 5th World Congress on Alternatives & Animal use in the Life Sciences, The HSUS, along with other international animal protection groups and Jane Goodall, puts forth a resolution to end the use of monkeys and other primates in biomedical research and testing. In the Resolution governments, regulators, industry, scientists and research funders worldwide are urged to accept the need to end primate use as a legitimate and essential goal; to make achieving this goal a high priority; and to work together to facilitate this.


1999: The HSUS submits formal comments to the United States Department of Agriculture in response to a draft policy statement regarding the environment enhancement for monkeys and other primates.

1996: The HSUS's criticism of NASA's BION mission, which sent monkeys into space, helps lead Congress to reevaluate its funding of this inhumane and wasteful project, which was terminated a year later.


1986: At the annual HSUS conference, The HSUS holds a pre-conference symposium on primate issues, including the use of primates in research.

1985: The Dole-Brown amendments to the Animal Welfare Act are signed into law after years of work by HSUS board member Robert Welborn and HSUS staff. One provision calls for promotion of the psychological well-being of monkeys and other primates.

1985: The HSUS convenes a symposium of key players and policy makers to work out consensus recommendations on psychological well-being of monkeys and other primates.

1984: HSUS staff member, Dr. John McArdle, serves as an expert in a case involving the use of baboons in head injury research. This case also drew nationwide attention to the welfare of monkeys and other primates used in research, helping to support ongoing legislative efforts.

1981: HSUS staff testifies at a federal hearing deliberating proposed legislation to improve the Animal Welfare Act and alternative methods of research. HSUS staff member, Dr. Michael Fox, serves as a veterinary expert for what is now known as the "Silver Spring monkey case", following an undercover investigation by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in a primate lab in Silver Spring, Maryland. This case drew nationwide attention to the welfare of primates used in research.

1980: ISAP holds a symposium on "Non-human Primate Use and Husbandry in Biomedical Facilities."


1958: HSUS reports concerning shipments of monkeys—dead, dying and mutilated—coming through a New York City airport persuade the Indian government to adopt stricter guidelines for transportation and care. .

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