Pamela Anderson has written a letter to RC Deka, director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), urging him to retire the aging monkeys at AIIMS’ Central Animal Facility in Delhi to a sanctuary and switch to modern, humane non-animal research and training methods.
Anderson sent the letter on behalf of PETA India after watching video footage taken secretly inside AIIMS. In the letter, she points out that many of the monkeys at AIIMS have been languishing in cramped, rusty cages for more than a decade and that one monkey has been suffering in these conditions for nearly 20 years. Anderson also reminds Deka that laboratories in India are required to rehabilitate animals after three years of use. Being jailed in a cage at AIIMS cannot be considered true rehabilitation.
“It broke my heart to see the suffering,” writes Anderson. “But the animals suffering behind closed doors at AIIMS must endure this nightmare every day. I was shocked to see that rabbits are forced to live in wire-floored cages; the sharp wire digs into their sensitive footpads and can cause their feet to become stuck.”
In the letter, Anderson also describes the following conditions seen in the video footage:
- Sick and injured animals, including rabbits suffering from an infectious skin disease and rats with wounds, are denied veterinary care.
- A worker roughly overturns the rat enclosures in order to clean them, slamming the animals inside, including a mother rat desperately trying to protect her newborn babies, against the wire bars.
- Animals exhibit signs of severe stress – a monkey is shown climbing the walls and ceiling of the cage in an endless loop, and a rat is shown spinning compulsively.
“Please, won’t you at least agree to retire the animals who have been at AIIMS the longest to a sanctuary?” asks Anderson in the letter.