For Immediate Release:
November 2, 2023
Kendall Davis 202-483-7382
Madison, Wis. – PETA has filed a motion in circuit court arguing that a Dane County judge exceeded her discretion in a case involving Cornelius and Princess, macaque monkeys who were held in solitary confinement for years despite obvious health problems at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center (WNPRC) in apparent violation of the state’s cruelty-to-animals laws.
The judge found probable cause that crimes were committed at the primate center, which is located at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW-Madison). PETA requests that the judge reconsider or explain why she didn’t permit prosecution.
PETA’s appeal to the court on behalf of Princess and Cornelius springs from an undercover investigation into the WNPRC, which presented strong evidence of cruelty that the judge determined “shock[s] the conscience and [is] extraordinarily alarming.”
After an inquiry by the Dane County district attorney, Cornelius was moved out of solitary housing, but he remains confined at the WNPRC. In the months that followed, experimenters killed Princess.
Cornelius, confined at the WNPRC. Photo: PETA
“Cruelty-to-animals charges won’t bring back Princess, but we must not erase the crimes against her and Cornelius, who is still trapped in this hellhole,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA urges the Dane County Circuit Court judge to reconsider and immediately issue charges against the WNPRC.”
Cornelius was born at the WNPRC in 2010. Known to experimenters only as #r10033, he was separated from his mother as an infant and experimenters infected him with the dengue virus when he was 4 years old. As a baby, he suffered from full-body rashes. As a juvenile, he was plagued with persistent diarrhea, a common sign of stress in caged monkeys. Later, he was used as a breeder, subjected to repeated electro-ejaculation procedures, and warehoused in solitary confinement for years, adding psychological suffering to his existing torment.
Princess—known as #rh2519—was repeatedly bred and her babies were taken away for experiments. She tore out nearly all her body hair, a form of self-mutilation indicative of extreme psychological distress. In November, 2021, she was impregnated and used in an experiment in which both she and her fetus were killed.
After more than 60 years, 16,000 dead monkeys, and nearly $700 million in taxpayer funds, the WNPRC has produced zero cures for human diseases. PETA asks that UW-Madison release Cornelius to a reputable sanctuary.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.