Attorneys Joseph S. Goode, Mark M. Leitner, and Jessica L. Farley are once again on the offensive against the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Primate Research Lab. LLG and the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed suit on February 10, 2021 on behalf of whistleblower and UW alum Madeline Krasno against the University of Wisconsin for violations of Krasno’s First Amendment rights. Krasno, a former employee of the Primate Lab, has been blocked by UW from making posts critical of the lab on the University’s Instagram and Facebook accounts that detail her first-hand accounts of animal mistreatment.
In two years as a student caretaker at the school’s Harlow Center for Biological Psychology, Krasno witnessed numerous instances of abuse of primate subjects in the lab. As recently as 2020, the lab was cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for serial violations of the Animal Welfare Act. The university has repeatedly blocked Krasno’s posts about the incidents she personally witnessed from its social media accounts.
In 2017, LLG prevailed before the Wisconsin Court of Appeals in a lawsuit over the university’s failure to provide public records related to taxpayer-funded “maternal deprivation” tests at the same animal facility. The lab’s tests intentionally separated newborn primates from their mothers to study impacts on the infant monkeys’ psychological development. The Court of Appeals found in favor of ALDF in that earlier suit, ordering the school to comply with Wisconsin’s open records law.