Silver Spring Monkeys Case Summary

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I chose to study the famous Silver Spring Monkeys case, which is one of the biggest animal- rights cases to ever happen and the first to be brought to the U.S Supreme Court. It involves the highly acclaimed animals-rights group PETA and Dr. Edward Taub from the Institute of Behavioral Research.

During May of 1981 in Silver Spring, Maryland, Alex Pacheco of the animals-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) went undercover as someone looking for a job at the Institute of Behavioral Research (IBR). IBR referred Pacheco to Dr. Edward Taub who was researching surgically crippled primates to monitor the rehabilitation of impaired limbs. Pacheco was offered a volunteer position working with student intern Georgette Yakalis.
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On September 8th, Pacheco took the evidence to the police. After preliminary investigations Detective, Sergeant Rick Swain and team did the first ever raid of a research facility in the U.S. During the raid Swain discovered not only the conditions the monkeys were living but also a cockroach infestation in the surgery room. Swain confiscated the monkeys and files. Taubs attorneys quickly started to demand that their clients property be returned the next day. That night the monkeys disappeared. Bench warrants were issued for the arrest of Ingrid Newkirk (president of PETA), Jean Goldenberg (director of the Washington Humane Society/SPCA) and Lori Lehner who was housing the monkeys before they disappeared. Lori spent a night in jail before it was decided that there was insufficient evidence against the women. During a press conference Taub valued the monkeys at $60-$90, 000 each and only offered a $200 reward for their …show more content…
The new guardians of the monkeys negotiated with the police that if they returned the monkeys they would not go back to IBR. After they returned, Judge Cahoon cancelled the hearing and ruled that the monkeys would all go back to IBR. Taub was now charged with seventeen counts of cruelty to animals and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the suspension of Taub's grant. Five days after the monkeys had been returned to IBR, a monkey named Charlie died of a ‘heart attack’. The body was sent to Cornell University to be examined but they could not determine a cause of death because, the body arrived without its heart, lungs, kidneys, testicle and several glands.

Judge Cahoon realized his mistake and reversed his decision. The monkeys were moved to the NIH primate quarantine centre. The first criminal trial was then conducted, Taub was defended by two of Washington's most prestigious law firms (Arnold and Porter and Miller, Miller and Steinberg). PETA had testimonies from experts including Colonel Simmonds (DVM of the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences), Dr.Robinson and Dr.Ott of the San Diego Zoo and Dr. Roberts of the U.S Army. On November 23rd 1981, Taub was found guilty of six counts of cruelty for failing to provide proper vet care for six

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