PETA Offered Sanctuary Placement; Experimenter Killed Baboons Instead

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Who Were the Baboons?

The Experiments

For decades, he subjected pregnant baboons to multiple surgeries, cutting out and killing their fetuses. When the feds stepped in to stop him, he killed the animals. Now, we need to stop him.

Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) experimenter Gerald Pepe has spent 40 years impregnating sensitive, social olive baboons, shooting them full of various hormones and then cutting out and killing the fetuses—subjecting each baboon to up to six cesarean sections. Nothing from this horror show has ever helped humans, but that hasn’t stopped the experiments—or the funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

In 2023, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) took a rare action that reveals just how sick this study is: The agency revoked EVMS’ permission to subject the pregnant baboons to more than one major, invasive surgery that they would be expected to recover from.

Because of this, five baboons—Jemma, Alissa, Cookie, Tara, and Toya—were no longer useful to 81-year-old Pepe, who has been doing this to baboons since the mid-1980s. We knew we had to take action.

Alissa died soon after the USDA took its action. She had lost 18% of her bodyweight after her first pregnancy and C-section. EVMS had failed to address this dramatic weight loss. Nevertheless, she had been impregnated again and subjected to a second C-section. She died from aspiration following the surgery.

PETA immediately found placement at a reputable sanctuary for the four other baboons. We spoke with state legislators and contacted the EVMS Board of Visitors (the body that oversees the medical school) and offered to move Jemma, Cookie, Tara, and Toya to the sanctuary, which was standing ready to receive them, immediately. There, we knew these animals, who had endured unmitigated misery, psychological torment, and physiological ailment in Pepe’s laboratory, could finally experience some semblance of a real life.

But the EMVS Board of Visitors did nothing, and without ever responding to our offer, Pepe quickly and quietly killed all four of the baboons. PETA is now calling for him to be dismissed and for the laboratory to be shut down. Please take action below to help.

In EVMS laboratories, intelligent and sensitive baboons are confined to small, barren steel cages, where they display profound psychological distress through stereotypical behaviors like pacing, biting cage bars so desperately that they wear their teeth down, over-grooming, and self-mutilation.

What You Can Do

Please TAKE ACTION to pressure EVMS to end these pointless and cruel experiments by sending a letter to the rector of the EVMS Board of Visitors today!

Bibbins, MD

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