Freed in India

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1999:

HYDERABAD––Forty-eight monkeys
reportedly bred for use testing an Indian
version of the anti-cancer drug Interferon by
Shantha Biotechnics Private Ltd. reportedly
scampered into the jungles of Sirisailam in
early August, freed by Blue Cross of India
Hyderabad chapter secretary and award-winning
actress Amala Annikeni and friends.
Wrote S.N.M. Abdi of the South
China Morning Post, “Annikenni, 40, arrived
at the National Centre for Laboratory Animal
Sciences with several vans to carry the monkey
cages. She was also armed with a letter from
the Andhra Pradesh state animal welfare board
ordering the lab to hand over the primates,” due
to allegedly poor care conditions. The transfer
was done “after a three-hour tussle with sloganshouting
activists who refused to vacate the
premises until the monkeys were rescued.”

Shantha Biotech on August 23 asked
the Andhra Pradesh High Court to reauthorize
the experiments with another group of monkeys.
The pro-research group Medically Aware and
Responsible Citizens of Hyderabad demanded a
judicial inquiry into the incident.
Backing them, the Bombay Natural
History Society said the monkeys might not survive
in the wild because they were used to being
fed by humans. But millions of Indians routinely
feed half-tame monkeys at roadside temples
in honor of the Hindu monkey-god Hanuman.

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