A group of Massachusetts physicians is asking McLean Hospital to release 10 squirrel monkeys to sanctuaries. The monkeys were slated for NASA’s radiation experiments, which were recently canceled thanks in large part to PCRM’s efforts.
In a letter to the president of McLean Hospital near Boston, where the experiments would have taken place, PCRM member and Harvard graduate Marge Peppercorn, M.D., and 12 other doctors urge the institution to transfer the squirrel monkeys to primate sanctuaries.
The doctors write, “While we are happy that NASA has decided to spare these squirrel monkeys from the pain and suffering they would have endured had this research gone forward, neither NASA nor Brookhaven National Laboratory has shared with the public the fate of the monkeys who were to be involved.”
The NASA experiments, proposed by McLean Hospital researcher Jack Bergman, would have involved irradiating monkeys at Brookhaven National Laboratory and then shipping them to McLean to test for cognitive impairment. PCRM worked with Members of Congress, celebrities, and local officials to block the experiments.
Bergman has used squirrel monkeys for more than a quarter century in addiction experiments, which have involved applying electric shocks, withholding food, and completely immobilizing the animals in restraint chairs for extended periods.
Several sanctuaries are willing to provide homes for the squirrel monkeys no longer needed for the NASA experiment.