The animal rights organization PETA is planning a rally today at Secretary of the Army John McHugh’s house in Alexandria, Va., to protest the use of monkeys in experiments at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
PETA says the Army plans to inject an overdose of the drug physostigmine into vervet monkeys later this week to recreate the effects of a nerve agent. The monkeys will endure violent seizures and vomiting, and may stop breathing, according to a PETA press release.
“Poisoning monkeys until they convulse and stop breathing is cruel and a violation of Army policy. It teaches nothing about how the human body responds to nerve agent attacks,” says PETA Vice President of Laboratory Investigations Kathy Guillermo. “The Army would better train its soldiers by replacing its crude animal labs with lifelike human patient simulators.”
Protesters, whose rally begins at noon, plan to wear monkey costumes and hold signs that read, “McHugh: No More Monkey Business” and “Army: Stop Poisoning Primates.”
Similar protests will occur outside the homes of Col. Peter J. Schultheiss, Commander of the U.S. Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, and Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, Commanding General of Aberdeen Proving Ground.
A group called the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine uploaded this disturbing video of purported Army testing. Watch at your own risk.