Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

International Primate Day

Posted: 5 January 2006


Over 25 years ago, the NAVS founded Lab Animal Day, also known as World Day for Laboratory Animals. Now the day is recognised by the United Nations and used by anti-vivisection campaigners on every continent. On September 1st, 2005, we staged the first ever International Primate Day and marked it with events in London and Washington.

The day highlighted the issues raised in our My Mate’s a Primate campaign. To add a lighter touch to the serious issues we made the theme of the day a primate valentine message with the message “Will you be my Prime Mate” emblazoned on t-shirts, balloons, and cards. Giant Prime Mate cards were delivered to Prime Minister Tony Blair in Downing Street, and President George Bush at the White House. Both leaders were urged to take a stand against primate experiments and to sign the Kinshasa Declaration to protect great apes from the bush meat trade.

We were pleased to be accompanied to Downing Street by actor Peter Pollycarpou, well known for his stage roles, and familiar to millions for his appearances in TV’s ‘Birds of a Feather.’ TV presenter Wendy Turner Webster also helped promote the event.


Our Downing Street visit was followed by a special primate picnic in Hyde Park. The press turned out in force when we were joined by Meg Matthews and her daughter, Anaïs Gallagher. Donna Air also came with her daughter.

The agility, acrobatic and grace of London’s free runners, wearing our International Primate Day T-shirts, reminded people of our links to our primate cousins with an impressive display. Supporters also took part with distribution of special ‘Will you be my prime mate’ postcards to commuters at railway and tube stations in the morning. Our thanks to Eileen Quinlan, Pat Mear, Jeanie Elford, Mrs J Burke, Karen Chedsey, Paul Mcateer, Mrs K A Bryan, Kate Holland and Diana Allchrome who helped organise the distribution of International Primate Day cards, this included at key commuter stations. Our thanks also to Herne Bay & Whitstable Animal Rights who staged a special primate information stall.

We were delighted that Seattle’s Ban Ape Research (BAR) used the day as a platform to launch a campaign for a city-wide ban on the use of nonhuman great apes in medical research. Founder, Cyn Krueger, said: “We want Seattle to join with progressive countries such as the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, in firmly stating that using our next of kin as hairy test tubes is unconscionable and will not occur in our City,” The group are collecting signatures for a draft ordinance Mall.

Click on the links below for more information relating to our My Mate’s a Primate campaign:

MMaP campaign launched pdf version
MMaP campaign launched html version

MMaP website

My Mate’s a Primate overview

MMaP: How you can help

MMaP: Celebrities lend their support

Advert legal action pdf version
Advert legal action html version

Talking to and for animals pdf version
Talking to and for animals html version

Action in Kinshasa to save the great apes pdf version
Action in Kinshasa to save the great apes html version

© Animal Defenders International 2019