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Solitary Confinement

On May 6, 2006, it was reported that the University of Wisconsin, Madison was refusing to state the number of individually housed monkeys on campus. Documents suggested that as many as 1000 monkeys, more than half the monkeys in UW Madison laboratories, were being caged individually. Requests for clarification were ignored.

Individual housing is an acknowledged cause of self-mutilation in rhesus macaque laboratory colonies. Individually housed monkeys display a host of abnormal behaviors such as repetitive pacing, flipping, and circling, or other behaviors like eye-poking, saluting, slapping, floating limbs (the failure to recognize a hand or foot as part of one's own body). Finger or penis sucking, eating or smearing feces, and excessive masturbation are other common responses to the loneliness of solitary confinement.

A recently acquired document suggests that a quarter of the monkeys at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center nearly a third of the 1250 rhesus monkeys are caged alone. Statistics suggest that at least 20 of these animals are wounding themselves severely and that very many others are suffering severe emotional wounds from being isolated.



Madison's Hidden Monkeys is a joint project of the
Alliance for Animals and the
Primate Freedom Project