cruel practice of testing drugs and chemicals on monkeys is outdated and
"bad science", according to a new report. Veterinary surgeon and
zoologist Andre Menache, who lives in Sevenoaks, has produced research calling
for an end to use of non-human primates in toxicity testing. He told how
the monkeys are captured in the wild and torn away from their family groups
before being shipped in crates from countries including China, which takes
54-hours, to the UK.
here they are put in single cages, nothing resembling their natural environment,
and taken away from their families. They go bananas, biting and beating
themselves," Mr Menache, director of the non-governmental organisation
Antidote Europe, said.
they’ve even been experimented on, the animals are so stressed it
invalidates the data... They will be killed at the end of the experiment
or may be used more than once before they are killed."
report has been backed by BBC wildlife presenter Charlotte Uhlenbroek and
seeks to show that now scientists have access to human cells and DNA there
is no need to use monkeys in experiments.
are told that toxicity tests are performed on non-human primates to safeguard
human health, because of their similarity to us," Dr Uhlenbroek said.
by the same token we have a duty and an obligation to afford them special
protection. Given that modern science has the means to obtain the required
safety data without the use of animals, we must act immediately and decisively
to end those animal experiments."
who has given up working in a veterinary practice to concentrate on his
work for Antidote Europe, aims to get modern scientific methods to replace
animal experiments within EU legislation.
UK experiments on more monkeys than any other country in the EU –
3,000 a year, which is massive," he said.
is for ticking boxes – to get a drug on the market you have got to
show it’s safe and the easiest way is to test it on an animal.
the data you are going to get is relevant to the monkey."
the most common species used in tests were macaques that are mostly imported
from China and Mauritius. "Animal experimentation is a bad habit
or bad science left over from the 19th century. There is no excuse now human
DNA is available, we do not need to text on the monkey. "It is a chain
reaction. Once the public is made aware it will put pressure on the politicians
and the politicians will put pressure on the regulatory authorities."
56, who became interested in his subject after reading an anti-animal experimentation
magazine as a student in South Africa, said we have a duty to protect the
monkey because they are so like us.
you see these animals with tattoos across their chests being subjected to
horrific procedures I think any normal human being would say that’s
not right," he said.
report has been aimed at politicians and regulatory authorities to prove
that testing on monkeys is no longer necessary now that there are more accurate
methods. Dr Uhlenbroek said: "I have been privileged to observe the
behaviour of non-human primates in their natural habitat.
have watched how they develop long-term bonds of affection and show emotions
of happiness, fear and even jealousy.
most certainly have a sense of self and there is now documented evidence
to show that non-human primates grieve when members of their social group
provides talks about testing drugs and chemicals on animals at schools and
colleges, for more information email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.