Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Dublin vigil calls for support for EU and US moves to ban primate experiments

Posted: 8 September 2006


When: Friday September 1st

Where: Dail Eireann, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Time: 6.30pm – 8pm

Dublin - To mark International Primate Day (September 1st, motions have been simultaneously placed before the European Parliament and the US House of Representatives calling for an end to experiments on non-human primates.

This is believed to be the first time that a global animal protection campaign has been initiated in the US and European Parliaments on the same day, and signals an international drive to end non-human primate experiments.

Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN), a campaign partner of Animal Defenders International (ADI), will be initiating a drive to persuade Irish MEPs to back the written declaration before the European Parliament and will be marking International Primate Day with a candlelight vigil.

ARAN are releasing new video and photographs taken by ADI just recently inside Europe’s largest laboratory monkey supply facility. The facility in Camarles, Spain currently holds several hundred macaque monkeys from Mauritius but has a capacity for around 3,000. Europe currently uses a total of approximately 7,500 macaques a year, so ADI and ARAN fear the centre could fuel an explosion in EU monkey experiments.

John Carmody of ARAN says: “According to recent EU statistics, there are no monkey experiments taking place in Ireland. This puts Irish MEPs in an ideal position to back this humane move. We are also very concerned, that this new monkey factory in Spain will make monkeys available to researchers who have not used them before and we certainly don’t want them here.”

It’s time for change

The EU is currently considering plans to overhaul animal experimentation rules under EC Directive 86/609, including a possible ban on experiments on chimpanzees and a review of the future of experiments on monkeys in the EU. If the EU takes a stand as is hoped, then it would be logical for the US to do the same.

A Written Declaration is being sponsored in the European Parliament by UK MEPs David Martin, Vice-President of the European Parliament (Labour–Party of European Socialists); Robert Evans (Lab–PES); Sajjad Karim (Liberal Democrats–Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe); Portuguese MEP Paulo Casaca (PES), President of the Inter Group on Animal Welfare and Swedish MEP Carl Schlyter (Green Party). The declaration supports International Primate Day and urges:

“… the Commission to propose an end to all non-human primate experiments in the revision process of Directive 86/609 EC on the use of animals in scientific procedures, specifically: to prohibit chimpanzee experiments and the use of wild-caught primates in the EU and phase out all non-human primate experiments in the EU over the next 6 years.”

Jan Creamer, Chief Executive ADI: “There is a genuine opportunity to end the suffering of primates in laboratories. The EU has recognised this and MEPs have before them the chance to take huge step forward. These animals are our closest relatives; almost all of the primate species share more than 90% of their genetic make up with us, with chimpanzees and humans differing by as little as 2% of DNA. The similarities in behaviour, emotions, and intellectual performance between us and our fellow primates are striking. It is time for the European Union to take action to protect the primate nations.”

Twiggy, Alexei Sayle, Jenny Seagrove, Carol Royle, and Uri Geller have this week issued on-line video clips urging people to back International Primate Day.

A new report being released by ADI highlights the suffering of primates in laboratories, the problems of extrapolating data from monkeys to people, and the humane alternatives to these tests.

Jan Creamer, “Earlier this year, people in were horrified by the terrible side effects suffered by human volunteers, caused by the test drug TGN1412. Yet, the drug had been given to monkeys in doses 500 times stronger without such side effects. We are advocating humane and better science, for example micro-dosing which would have avoided the horrific side effects people endured because of TGN1412.”

John Carmody: “With more and more non-animal research methods available it is time to end cruel experiments on primates. We will be urging all of our supporters to contact their MEPs and back a ban on primate experiments.”

MEPs will be able to start signing the Written Declaration on primate experiments from 23rd September onwards.

The motion before the US House of Representatives is being tabled on behalf of ADI USA, by Nancy Pelosi (Democrat), the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives.

Click here for more information on International Primate Day

Click here to sign up to the Berlin Declaration

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