In light of International Primate Day on September 1st, Animal Defenders International (ADI) are releasing shocking video footage of the suffering primates are put through at animal testing labs in the Netherlands, before the experiments even begin. ADI’s purpose of sharing this footage is to increase awareness of the barbaric actions carried out on primates.
For those who do not wish to view the footage, ADI report that primates’ lives are spent living in fear, confusion, suffering, restraint, injury and death. The animals show clear signs of distress, as well as being left at risk of injury when coming round from sedation. Being kept captive in an unnatural and horrid environment causes the primates to lash out at their cage mates, this often results in serious injury. To add to the awful living conditions, animals are killed in front of their cage mates when scientists deem them no longer useful.
The Biomedical Primate Research Centre (BPRC) in Rijswik, the Netherlands, work with scientists in the UK, including some at the University of Cambridge. ADI are calling for primates to stop being bred for scientific use and put an end to the suffering.
“Given the known species differences between primates and humans, there can be no scientific or ethical justification for continuing to use primates in this kind of research. The move to advanced scientific techniques is good for science and ends the suffering,” said Jan Creamer, president of ADI.
Animal testing is a notoriously secretive practice, with the public often unaware of the horrors that take place.
Primates are closely related to humans, and as a result they are used for testing vaccinations, and studies about HIV. Despite the countless studies into immunodeficiency diseases putting animals through suffering, none of the treatments were effective in human patients – this renders the process completely useless and entirely unnecessary.
The UK is one of the largest primate users in Europe, and ADI is campaigning for government to phase out the use of primates. Over 2,200 primates were used for research in 2017, with the majority used for safety tests on substances – the UK used almost a quarter of the total number of primates used across Europe and this is seven time the number used by the Netherlands.
The Netherlands, the Lower House of Dutch Parliament supported ending the use of primate research as quickly as possible. The Netherlands are also working towards a proposed timetable to phase out certain types of animal testing by 2025 and use alternative methods.