Animal Aid

ACTION DAY FOR PRIMATES

Posted 23 August 2007

Growing political and public support for ban on cruel experiments

With support building amongst politicians, scientists and the general public for a Europe-wide ban on the use of primates in laboratory experiments, Animal Aid supporters will this Saturday (August 25) take to the streets in more than 70 UK locations to mark the national campaign group’s fourth Primate Action Day.

Street stalls - with campaign postcards and petitions - will be set up in town centres, and campaigners will also be distributing scores of thousands of leaflets.

The European Union Directive (86/609) that governs the conduct of vivisection in all Member states is currently being updated. As part of that process, there are strongly-supported moves for ending all poisoning tests and disease research on monkeys and apes. Some 10,000 primates are used in such ‘procedures’ in European laboratories each year, with around one third of them being conducted in Britain. Toxicity testing involves deliberate poisoning by overdose. Symptoms may include retching and vomiting, uncontrollable diarrhoea, tremors, liver failure and death. Hundreds of primates every year are also subjected to deliberate brain damage in British laboratories. Post-operative symptoms include seizures, vomiting, severe bruising and bloody head wounds.

A Written Declaration (WD 40/2007) tabled in Brussels calls for a ban on the use of wild-caught monkeys and great apes, as well as a phase-out of the laboratory use of all primates. It has already attracted the support of 296 MEPs - making it one of the most well-supported WD’s in recent years. If it draws 97 more signatures, a primate ban is likely to follow.

Many British MPs also support a ban - on both moral and scientific grounds. A parliamentary Motion (EDM 1704) was signed last February by 150 Members. And a demand for a primate research ban was also embodied in the Berlin Declaration. This was launched in 2005 and has been endorsed by 95 animal protection agencies around the world, plus leading academics and public figures.

Says Animal Aid Director Andrew Tyler:

‘There is now a real prospect of a Europe-wide ban on the use of primates in appallingly cruel laboratory experiments. Thousands are killed every year in such tests, with Britain distinguishing itself as the monkey-killing capital of Europe. Apart from the issue of animal suffering, an objective assessment of the scientific evidence shows that monkeys and apes are hopeless ‘models’ for determining whether or not a substance is safe for people to take, while disease research on primates is also thoroughly misleading. Public, political and scientific support for a ban is growing. Saturday’s Primate Action Day will be another chance for the public to declare their impatience with these cruel and unscientific experiments.’

On Primate Action Day (August 25) Animal Aid supporters will be campaigning in the following locations: Abercynon, Ascot, Barnsley, Benfleet, Bolton, Bourne, Braishfield. Bristol, Broadbridge, Bury, Bury St Edmunds, Castleblayne, Chesterfield, Chippenham, Coldingham, Conwy, Coulsdon, Coventry, Crawley, Dundee, Edinburgh, Folkestone, Glasgow, Haxby, Helston, Inverness, Ipswich, Isleworth, Kirkcaldy, Lichfield, Liverpool, Llanelli, London, Lowestoft, Luton, Macclesfield, Mansfield, Milton Keynes, New Barnet, Oxenhope, Penarth, Reading, Redruth, Rettendon, Rochdale, Rossendale, Sheffield, Southend on Sea, Southsea, Southwold, St Asaph, St Austel, St Peter Port. Stourbridge, Taunton, Thirsk, Tonbridge, Wallasey, Wakefield, Warwick, Wigan and Wolverhampton.

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