Monkey experiments at Max Planck Institute, Germany
Our investigation uncovers the horror of life for monkeys in a top European animal experiments laboratory
Our investigation at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany in 2013 and 2014 uncovered the brutal way in which monkeys’ lives were controlled and manipulated by researchers. The monkeys were:
- forced to have major brain surgery to implant devices in their skulls
- deliberately deprived of water for days
- controlled by a pole attached to a collar around their necks
- held in a restraint device with their heads immobilised by a post implanted in their skulls
- imprisoned inside dark, silent chambers
- forced to carry out mundane tasks over and over for hours at a time, day after day, month after month
WARNING video contains footage that some viewers may find upsetting
What we found
Monkeys, deprived of water for days, were so desperately thirsty they resorted to drinking their own urine.
Monkeys had hard plastic collars with a metal ring continuously fastened around their necks so that a metal pole could be used to forcibly remove them from their cages.
Monkeys were forced to recover from sedation with their heads severely restrained by a neck clamp in a cruel “training” device designed by the laboratory.
Monkeys were subjected to major head surgery during which head posts and recording or injection chambers were surgically implanted into their skulls.
Monkeys suffered nasty bleeding head wounds. For some, their head wounds became infected, including with MRSA.
The focus of the work carried out at MPI is ‘basic research’, carried out to understand the brain, vision and other processes in macaque monkeys.
We believe the use of monkeys in this way is both cruel and ill-conceived. Trying to apply findings from these animal experiments to humans is highly speculative. And diverting scarce research funds to study macaques’ brains is wasteful.
There are better ways to do this research that do not inflict harm and suffering on animals.
You can help end the appalling suffering of monkeys like these by sending a polite email to the German Embassy in your country, calling on the Government to end these cruel animal experiments. The following text can be used for your email:
“I am shocked by the findings from the investigation carried out by the BUAV and Soko Tierschutz at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, a leading research institute in Germany, which has revealed the immense suffering inflicted on primates in cruel experiments.
The experiments, some of which were publicly funded, involved primates being subjected to severe water deprivation (sometimes for days) and physical coercion. They underwent major surgery to have devices implanted in their skulls and were then held rigid in ‘primate chairs’ inside testing chambers to carry out repetitive tasks for hours at a time.
In addition to the terrible pain and suffering experienced by these monkeys, I believe that this fundamental research to study macaques’ brains is the wrong approach. There are better ways to do this research that do not inflict harm and suffering on animals.
I appeal to the Government of Germany to take immediate action to suspend all licences to conduct research on primates at the MPI and to carry out a full inquiry, independent of the MPI and the authority.
I look forward to hearing from you.”
If you are in the UK, the email address for the German Embassy is: firstname.lastname@example.org
WARNING image gallery contains graphic images that some viewers may find upsetting