Dear Editor: It was with great sadness and frustration I read the recent article about laboratory studies involving the isolation of newborn monkeys ("University of Wisconsin renews controversial maternal deprivation research on monkeys"). As we know from previous primate studies, these monkeys will undoubtedly suffer immensely at the expense of taxpayers. They will experience crippling anxiety, depression and other debilitating behavioral problems all for questionable human benefit.
There is an increasing amount of scrutiny on the use of animals in research and testing, and for good reason. In addition to causing harm to millions of animals every year, animal research is slow, expensive and often does not accurately predict what will happen in humans. We can, and must, do better.
In addition, there is some research that intuitively seems to be unjustified because the moral costs in animal suffering are too great. The U.S. as a nation has largely agreed this is the case for chimpanzee research, although the U.S. was the last of the developed economies to come to that conclusion. The time has come — not just for the sake of the animals, but for ours as well — to come to the same conclusion for deprivation studies on baby monkeys as well.
Melissa Tedrowe, Wisconsin director
Humane Society of the United States