Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Concern as NASA steps closer to irradiation experiments on monkeys

Posted: 30 September 2010. Updated: 1 October 2010

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 30th, 2010 ¬ NASA bill S. 3729 (National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010), has passed the House and will now go to the President for his signature. Animal Defenders International is disappointed that The House passed the Senate version of the bill, which did not include the original House language that required “justification and rationale for any additional research involving non-human primates".

After Russia commenced experiments on monkeys which were condemned by Russian and European astronauts, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced that it would not be using primates in future, and saw no need for animal experiments. However, here in the US, NASA then followed the Russian announcement with plans to spend $1.75million on widely-criticized monkey tests, despite having recently laid off 5,000 workers. A NASA aerospace engineer has resigned in protest.

The monkey experiments will see squirrel monkeys given massive doses of radiation and then forced to perform tasks, and have been criticized from every side, scientists, animal protectionists, astronauts, former NASA employees, and even the European Space Agency.

Tim Phillips, Animal Defenders International vice president said,

“We do not oppose space exploration, however, pouring tax payer’s money into these cruel and unnecessary experiments can only be described as wasteful. These are horrific experiments which have been roundly condemned inside and outside the space exploration community, the very least the public should expect is a full explanation of the rationale behind the tests.”

Aerospace engineer April Evans resigned her position earlier this year as a space architect on the International Space Station (ISS) program because of NASA’s decision to conduct primate irradiation testing. Evans believes this experiment is a major step backward for NASA’s animal testing record.

At a meeting at Congress yesterday with Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, attended by ADI, April called for the monkey research budget to be redirected to the drive to develop radiation shielding to protect the astronauts and space vehicle during any future Mars mission.

Animal Defenders International has also written to NASA urging them to reconsider the experiments and will now move to put pressure on NASA and Congress.

A new ADI video about the experiments is being circulated to all members of Congress and can be viewed at

About Animal Defenders International (ADI):
With offices in Los Angeles, London and Bogotá, Animal Defenders International (ADI) campaigns to protect animals in entertainment; replacement of animals in experiments; worldwide traffic in endangered species; vegetarianism; factory farming; pollution and conservation. ADI also rescues animals in distress worldwide.

ADI-gathered evidence has led to campaigns and legislative action all over the world to protect them.
ADI’s Mission: To educate, create awareness, and promote the interest of humanity in the cause of justice, and the suppression of all forms of cruelty to animals wherever possible to alleviate suffering, and to conserve and protect animals and the environment.
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Media Contact: Ágnes Huff, PhD or Anna Jerden Ágnes Huff Communications Group, Phone: 310-641-2525, E-mail:,

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