European Parliament moves to halt monkey use in labs

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2007:
STRASBOURG–Four hundred thirty-five of
the 785 members of the European Parliament on
September 6, 2007 endorsed a two-part written
declaration asking the European Commission to
“make ending the use of apes and wild-caught
monkeys in scientific experiments an urgent
priority,” and to “establish a timetable for
replacing the use of all primates in scientific
The declaration against primate use drew
more support than any previous European
Parliament animal welfare measure, “and the
third highest number of signatures on any
declaration since 2000,” said Animal Defenders
International press officer Allison Tuffrey Jones.
European Parliament animal welfare panel
chair Neil Parish enlarged the topic to other
species, telling news media that the declaration
“sends a clear message to the Commission that
animal experimentation should be phased out.”

European laboratories use about 10,000
nonhuman primates per year, according to ADI.
About 40% of the total are used in Brtain. The
nations next most involved in doing nonhuman
primate studies are France and Germany.
“A European Commission survey from 2006
found that 80% of Europeans are against the use
of primates for scientific purposes,” said
Agence France-Presse.
Pushing the declaration forward was
British songwriter Maria Daines’ second
pro-animal composition of the summer to top the
independent online pop rock charts. Daines
released Monkey In A Cage about one month after
producing One Small Dog to benefit the Homeless
Animal Protection Society of Ethiopia. As a
publicity stunt, Daines and several other
celebrities posed in a primate transport case.
ADI tactics included distributing monkey
doorhangers to the members of the European
Parliament, plus “novelty bags with serious
reportsÅ alongside credit card-size monkey mints
and bathtime luxuries,” said Tuffrey Jones.
The campaign gain-ed momentum after
Justice John Mitting of the British High Court
ruled on July 27, 2007 that the British Home
Office improperly understated the degree of
suffering that marmosets would experience when it
licensed invasive brain experiments at Cambridge
“The case was brought after a 10-month
undercover investigation by the British Union
Against Vivisection at a Cambridge neuroscience
lab during 2000 and 2001,” summarized Mike
Taylor of The Independent. “The investigation
revealed that the Home Office had assigned a
‘moderate’ suffering category to experiments
which included such procedures as removing the
top of a marmoset’s head and part of the brain to
induce strokes. Guidelines state that any
procedure which ‘may lead to a major departure
from the animal’s usual state of health and
wellbeing’ must be categorised as ‘substantial.'”
The Home Office intends to appeal the verdict.
Justice Mitting rejected three other BUAV contentions.
In April 2007, the parliament of Bremen
state, Germany unanimously asked the University
of Bremen to halt macaque brain experiments
conducted by neuroscientist Andreas Kreitur. The
experiments are licensed to continue to the end
of 2008.
“Neither the state parliament nor the
state government can order the university to
close down the [brain research] center,”
explained Quirin Schiermeier in Nature, “but
Kreiter fears that political pressure will force
the local authorities not to approve further

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