Advocates for Animals fully supports Labour MEP David Martin’s call for a complete ban on primate experiments in the European Union.
The use of great apes – orangutans, gorillas and chimpanzees – is currently banned in the UK and great apes have not been used in experiments in the EU for some years. However thousands of primates continue to suffer behind the doors of laboratories.
Martin said "The latest EU figures show that 10,451 primates such as macaque and squirrel monkeys, baboons and marmosets were used in the EU in 2005 for research, drug development and safety testing. 3,125 primates were used in Great Britain alone last year. Shockingly, Scotland is the primate experimentation centre of the EU with more experiments conducted per head of population than in any other country. 952 primates (30.5% of GB total) were used in 1,213 procedures in Scotland in 2007.”
"The use of primates in experiments raises both ethical and scientific concerns, as highlighted by organisations such as Advocates for Animals.”
"Primates attract particular concern because their advanced cognitive skills and high-level social and behavioural repertoire mean they are capable of experiencing intense physical or mental suffering, which adds significantly to the case against using them in experiments. It remains impossible to capture and breed these sentient beings, transport them halfway across the world in some cases, and keep and use them in laboratories, without seriously compromising their physical and psychological health.”