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Animal Defenders International

CRITICAL WEEK AS EUROPE DECIDES FUTURE OF LAB ANIMALS

Posted: 5 November 2009. Updated: 17 November 2009

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Trialogue meeting to consider steps to end the capture of wild monkeys by dealers

Over the next few days the European Commission, European Parliament and Council of Ministers are holding trialogue discussions on new rules for animal experimentation throughout Europe. Key decisions will be made on whether to restrict primate use to certain areas of research and whether to stop the trapping of wild monkeys by dealers. The Council of Ministers’ common position is expected in just two weeks.

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At a meeting in the European Parliament yesterday, key MEPs examined shocking evidence, filmed by Animal Defenders International (ADI), showing the treatment of monkeys in animal testing labs and in supply facilities, and monkeys being caught in the wild for experiments. The meeting was also told how the latest scientific research shows that the monkeys most frequently used in Europe are now rapidly declining throughout their natural range.

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Around 10,000 monkeys are used in experiments. Most of these monkeys are born of parents captured in the wild. Europe is therefore continuing to fuel the capture of thousands of wild monkeys to stock breeding farms in Asia.

A range of different perspectives was debated at yesterday’s meeting in the European Parliament, which was hosted by Raul Romeva (Greens) with Shadow Rapporteur, Daciana Octavia Sarbu (S & D), also speaking.

ADI also showed examples of the latest alternatives to experiments on primates and called for the mechanisms under the new rules to ensure the development and implementation of replacements to experiments on animals.

Raul Romeva, MEP, said: “There can be no more excuses, it is time to act. A modern society will be judged according to the way it treats its animals. Thus, momentum is growing in Europe to protect animals from suffering. The animal welfare bills that have been proposed show that the will is there to take animal cruelty seriously. The terrible scenes of anguish and terror in the ‘Save The Primates’ film will force people to address this issue head-on, and make them question whether we can allow this animal cruelty to continue.”

Tim Phillips, ADI Campaign Director, said “This is the most important week in the animal experiment debate for over 20 years as Europe begins to finalise the new rules for experimentation with input from the Commission, Parliament, and Council of Ministers.
The decisions made will have an impact for years to come. It is vital that Europe has the courage to say clearly that tearing monkeys from the wild is unacceptable and that the EU is making a genuine commitment to replace the use of animals in experiments.”

The new Directive for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, which was proposed in 2008 to replace the outdated EC Directive 86/609/EC, provides the greatest opportunity in over 25 years to influence the use of animals, and in particular primates, in laboratories.

More than half of all MEPs in the European Parliament signed a Declaration in 2007, calling for a ban on the use of great apes and wild caught monkeys and for a timetable to phase out all primate experiments.

For more information, visit: savetheprimates.com

Download the Animal Defenders International and Eurogroup Briefings as pdf
Overview of Main Points
Regular Thematic Reviews
Development of Alternative Methods
Authorisation of Projects
Article 10, Phase out capture of wild caught non-human primates
Appendix to Primate Briefing for animal experimentation - Article 10
Article 8, Limiting use of non-human primates

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