[monkeywire] Historic push for monkey test ban across EU and US

PR ADI PR at ad-international.org
Thu Aug 31 07:31:54 EDT 2006


International Primate Day - September 1st 2006

 

Historic push for EU and US bans on monkey experiments

 

To mark International Primate Day (September 1st) organised by Animal
Defenders International, 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.  Motions are also being
tabled in the UK Parliament, the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh
Assembly, and it is planned for other countries to follow suit.

 

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.

 

The ADI campaign has the backing of Twiggy, Alexei Sayle, Jenny
Seagrove, Carol Royle, and Uri Geller who this week have appeared online
urging people to back a primate test ban.  The call is also backed by
over 150 animal protection groups around the world indicating how
momentum is gathering on this especially sensitive area of animal
research.

 

International Primate Day will be marked with activity in Europe and the
USA, with a new report on non-human primate experiments being delivered
to Tony Blair at 10.30am on Friday, 1 September.  The new ADI report
will highlight not only the similarities between humans and other
primates, but the crucial differences that are so important in
biomedical research, as well as the non-animal techniques that could be
used instead.

 

Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of ADI:  "Earlier this year, people in the
UK were horrified by the terrible side effects suffered by human
volunteers, caused by the test drug TGN1412.  The drug had been given to
monkeys in doses 500 times stronger without such side effects."

 

The report is accompanied by a new video and photographs taken this
summer 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
fear the centre could fuel an explosion in EU monkey experiments.

 

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);
together with 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:  "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 ourselves and our fellow primates are
striking.   It is time for the European Union to take action to protect
the primate nations."

 

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

The motion before the Scottish parliament is being tabled by Chris
Ballance (Green Party).

An Early Day Motion before the UK Parliament has been tabled by Colin
Challen MP (Lab), and has the backing of fourteen MPs - Bob Russell,
David Drew,  Andrew Dismore, Derek  Wyatt, Eric
<http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMByMember.aspx?MID=4691>  Illsley,
<http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMByMember.aspx?MID=1109> Kelvin
Hopkins, Greg <http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMByMember.aspx?MID=1016>
Knight, Jeremy Corbyn,
<http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMByMember.aspx?MID=1343> Ann Cryer,
Andrew George, David Taylor, Rudi Vis, Betty Williams, Linda Riordan.

 

ADI's London office will be rallying supporters in the UK to call on
their MEPs to sign the declaration and ADI San Francisco will be doing
the same in the US. 

 

Ends

____________________________________

High res photographs and video inside the laboratory animal supplier and
celebrities available. 

 

Further information contact ADI Press Office:  Allison Tuffrey Jones or
Abigail Girling

Tel: 020 8563 0250 / 020 8846 9777.        Mob:  07785 552548

Email: pr at ad-international.org

___________________________________

 

EDITOR'S NOTES:

 

International Primate Day was founded in 2005 by Animal Defenders
International, as part of our 'My Mate's a Primate' campaign which is an
alert to the four major threats to the very survival of some of the
non-human primate nations - the bushmeat, laboratory, pet, and
entertainment trades.  

 

The USA is the largest user of laboratory primates in the world.  The UK
is the largest user of laboratory monkeys in the EU with primate test up
in 2005.  Three countries, the UK, France and Germany are responsible
for almost all of the 10,000 experiments on monkeys in the EU (1). 

 

The Spanish monkey dealer exposed by ADI is importing macaque monkeys
from Mauritius.  It will have an estimated capacity for 3,000 macaque -
almost half of the EU's annual macaque use (75-80% of all laboratory
monkeys used in the EU are macaques(1)).  

 

(1) EC 86/609 Expert consultation, NAVS and references therein.

 

The Parliamentary Motions

 

European Parliament

Written Declaration pursuant to Rule 116 of the Rules of Procedure, by
Robert Evans, Paolo Casaca, David Martin, Sajjad Karim and Carl Schlyter
on primates in scientific experiments:

-    having regard to Rule 116 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     considering Protocol No. 33 to the EC Treaty stating that, "the
Community and the Member States shall pay full regard to the welfare
requirements of animals" in formulating the Community's research policy,

B.     noting the Berlin Declaration, signed by over 200 international
animal protection organisations, scientists, public figures and
parliamentarians calls for: "...an immediate, internationally
co-ordinated effort to bring all non-human primate experiments to an
end."

C.     noting that primates have a high level of intelligence, being the
closest relative to humans, with certain species such as chimpanzees
sharing 98% of human DNA,

D.     noting that International Primate Day 2006 organised by Animal
Defenders International is aimed at raising awareness worldwide about
the hazards faced by non-human primates. The very existence of primates
is being threatened by the bushmeat, laboratory, entertainment and pet
trades,

I.        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,

II.     Instructs its President to forward this declaration, together
with the names of the signatories, to the Council, Commission and Member
States.

UK Parliament:

 

Early Day Motion 2633: International Primate Day, tabled by Colin
Challen MP (Lab), and has the backing of fourteen MPs (Bob Russel, David
Drew,  Andrew Dismore, Derek  Wyatt, Eric
<http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMByMember.aspx?MID=4691>  Illsley,
<http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMByMember.aspx?MID=1109> Kelvin
Hopkins, Greg <http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMByMember.aspx?MID=1016>
Knight, Jeremy Corbyn,
<http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMByMember.aspx?MID=1343> Ann Cryer,
Andrew George, David Taylor, Rudi Vis, Betty Williams, Linda Riordan).

 

"That this House welcomes International Primate Day on 1st September
2006, organised by Animal Defenders International; expresses its deep
concern that the United Kingdom has become Europe's largest user of
laboratory monkeys; notes that the use of monkeys in military
experiments has soared by 76 per cent. in the last five years;
highlights that the use of non-human primates is an unreliable predictor
of likely human effects, as the disastrous TGN1412 has shown; is alarmed
by the fact that the very existence of many primate species is
threatened by the bushmeat, laboratory and pet trades as well as the use
of primates for entertainment; calls on the Government to push for a ban
on primates in experiments at the EU level during the current revision
process of EU Directive 86/609; and further asks the Government to
support the Berlin Declaration calling for an end to primate
experiments, which has been signed by over 70 organisations worldwide."

 

 

Scottish Parliament:

Motion tabled by Chris Ballance (Green Party) - International Primate
Day - 

"That the Parliament welcomes International Primate Day on 1st September
2006, organised by Animal Defenders International; expresses its deep
concern that the United Kingdom has become Europe's largest user of
laboratory monkeys; notes that the use of monkeys in military
experiments has soared by 76 per cent. in the last five years;
highlights that the use of non-human primates is an unreliable predictor
of likely human effects, as the disastrous TGN1412 has shown; is alarmed
by the fact that the very existence of many primate species is
threatened by the bushmeat, laboratory and pet trades as well as the use
of primates for entertainment; calls on the Scottish Executive to push
for a ban on primates in experiments at the EU level during the current
revision process of EU Directive 86/609; and further asks the Scottish
Executive to support the Berlin Declaration calling for an end to
primate experiments, which has been signed by over 200 animal protection
organisations, scientists, public figures and parliamentarians
worldwide."

 

Welsh Assembly

 

Statement of Opinion tabled by Lorraine Barret AM (Lab - Cooperative)

 

"The National Assembly for Wales welcomes International Primate Day on
1st September 2006, organised by Animal Defenders International;
expresses its concern that the United Kingdom has become Europe's
largest user of laboratory monkeys; is alarmed by the fact that the very
existence of many primate species is threatened by the bushmeat,
laboratory and pet trades as well as the use of primates for
entertainment; calls on the Welsh Assembly Government, in any
discussions at UK or European level, to give its support towards a ban
on primate experiments, particularly during the current revision process
of EU Directive 86/609."

 

The US House of Representatives

Tabled by Nancy Pelosi (Democrat), the Majority Leader of the House of
Representatives.

"That this House welcomes International Primate Day on 1st September
2006 organized by Animal Defenders International; expresses its deep
concern that the United States is the world's largest user of laboratory
monkeys; highlights that the use of non-human primates is an unreliable
predictor of likely human effects, as the disastrous TGN1412 has shown;
is alarmed by the fact that the very existence of many primate species
is threatened by the laboratory and pet trades as well as the use of
primates for entertainment; calls on the federal government to push for
a ban on primates in experiments; and further asks the federal
government to support the Berlin Declaration calling for an end to
primate experiments, which has been signed by over 85 organizations
worldwide."

 

 

The Berlin Declaration

This call for an end to the use of primates in research, has been signed
by scientists, academics, animal welfare organisations and others
worldwide.  Signatures are still being added and now stand at 215 -
representing the views of millions of ordinary people, worldwide.  

It states:

"Animal protection organisations and scientists have united to call for
an end to the use of non-human primates in biomedical research and
testing. We urge governments, regulators, industry, scientists and
research funders worldwide to accept the need to end primate use as a
legitimate and essential goal; to make achieving this goal a high
priority; and work together to facilitate this. In particular, we
believe there must be an immediate, internationally co-ordinated effort
to bring all non-human primate experiments to an end."

 

 

Notes from the report  My Mate's a Primate (ADI, 2005):

 

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.  Some scientists have even proposed that chimpanzees be
included in the same genus as us humans (Homo sapien) - that they be
reclassified as Homo troglodytes. 

 

The similarities in behaviour, emotions, and intellectual performance
between ourselves and our fellow primates are striking. 

 

For example chimp babies need the same things as human children, they
need to be held, loved, talked to and played with.  Studies have shown
that chimps are highly intelligent and co-operative; they nurture family
bonds, adopt orphans, mourn, practice self-medication and engage in
struggles for power.  They also exhibit many of the same emotions once
thought to be exclusive to humans such as jealousy, envy, compassion,
greed, sloth, avarice and malice.  

 

Even our slightly more distant relatives - the monkeys - can also
display similar emotions and intelligence.  Whilst chimpanzees may be
our closest family, it is acknowledged that all the non-human primate
species are intelligent, dextrous, can problem solve, live in important
social structures, and require a stimulating environment.

 

 

ADI

August 2006

 

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