The University of Washington prides itself on being a top-tier scientific institution, and yet, it is anything but that when it comes to how they treat animals and the types of experiments they allow to be conducted on the animals imprisoned at the University of Washington.

These UW laboratories aren’t open to the public and their existence kept hidden from view from most students, alumni and tax payers. UW researchers try to convince the public that knowledge gained from animal studies can be extrapolated to humans yet their scientific papers reporting the results of research repeatedly include a disclaimer warning about making such an assumption.

But it isn’t only the uselessness and wastefulness of these animal experiments that should horrify everyone who learns about them. It is the tragic and terrible ways that burgeoning scientists are taught to treat living beings – each with their own emotional, environmental, and physical needs – as if they were not sentient at all. No normal healthy human would willingly conduct these experiments except when taught to turn this part of their ethical reasoning system off.

Breeding, capturing, exploiting, torturing, and then killing primates in the name of education and science must be talked about openly. This is the time to talk about animal ethics, animal law, and pedagogy at the UW. The UW is one of the most progressive learning institutions in the world, but in this one area, it continues to work and teach in the dark.


What kind of experiments does the University of Washington perform on animals?

The University of Washington is involved in a variety of experiments on animals.

Brain experiments: Experiments on the brain are a common area of animal research. These experiments often involve surgically cutting into the skulls of animals to access the brain (“craniotomies”), surgically implanting electrodes into the animals’ brains, and other types of surgeries. Specific studies include:

  • Oxygen deprivation of baby macaques: One study involved depriving baby macaques of oxygen while they were still fetuses by clamping their umbilical cords, delivering the baby macaques early which required them to be resuscitated, surgically implanting electrodes into their scalps, further depriving them of oxygen for the first three days of their lives, and then euthanizing the macaques when they were eight days old (McAdams et al., 2017).
  • Implantation of electrodes in macaques’ brains: One study involved surgically implanting electrodes into macaques’ brains, and then monitoring their brains while the macaques were forced to perform a visual tracking task (Shushruth et al., 2018).
  • Electrical stimulation of macaques’ brains: One study involved surgically opening the skulls of macaques, inserting electrodes into their skulls, and applying beta stimulation to the outer layer of the macaques’ brains (Zanos et al., 2018).

Pregnancy experiments: Researchers often use primates and other animals in studies to study pregnancy. These studies are often surgically invasive to both the mother and fetus. Specific studies include:

  • Artificially enlarging the uteri of pregnant macaques: One study involved studying uterine overdistension, which is a condition during pregnancy when the uterus is larger than normal due to amniotic fluid or a large baby. Researchers induced uterine overdistension in six pregnant macaques by implanting balloons inside the macaques’ uteri, which caused three of the six macaques to have preterm labor. The baby macaques were then delivered by cesarean section and euthanized (Waldorf et al., 2015).

Eye and vision experiments: Some experiments involve studying the eyes of animals, which often involve surgery. Specific studies include:

  • Giving macaques lazy eye (amblyopia): One study involved giving macaques lazy eye by surgically cutting the retinal muscles of some macaques, and forcing other macaques to wear contact lenses which induced lazy eye (Pham et al., 2018).
  • Surgically cutting out and modifying monkeys’ eyes: One study involved researching how macaques perceived color, and involved removing the eyes of anesthetized monkeys and then cutting out several parts of the eyes in order to study them (Wool et al., 2018).

As of 2019 (according to the Annual Report filed with the USDA), there are:
  •  540 Non-human primates (mostly macaques). There are another 513 non-human primates being held in a breeding facility in Arizona.
  •  23 dogs being kept for breeding purposes, 18 dogs being used for research purposes. All of these animals are kept in cages and do not have access to the outdoors.
  • 164 ferrets being used for research, and 109 ferrets being used for breeding purposes.
Check out these Reports where they list Non-compliance and Adverse Events:
See the UW’s IACUC page for a list of their Annual Reports where they list non-compliances and Adverse Events

History of Animal Research at the University of Washington


History of Animal Abuse at the University of Washington


Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

Animal research

Washington National Primate Research Center (WA-NPRC)



The pressure to end non-human animal experiments, especially primate experimentation, continues to mount. The public is being exposed to media proving what happens in the laboratories and continue to question the value of the science behind primate suffering. Help us end primate experimentation starting right here in Seattle, and help the UW move into a future where humans explore alternatives to exploiting other species to thrive.

NARN’s Animals In Labs Committee meets virtually on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.
Speak up at the Monthly IACUC Public Meeting
See meeting details here
IACUC Meeting Recap Q&A with NARN

After every IACUC Meeting, a NARN representative will be available to answer your questions about topics that were discussed at the IACUC meeting as well as animal research and animal research at the UW specifically. This is a great opportunity to find out more about what goes on at the UW.

The meeting will be informal & free-flowing, so bring your questions or conundrums. Meeting time is tentatively scheduled for 4pm, but if the IACUC meeting runs over (unlikely), the meeting will start after the end of the IACUC


End Primate Testing at UW - Contact UW!

Ask the University of Washington to End the Use of Primates in Testing Labs, Close the Breeding Facility