Monkeys are used at the University of Nottingham and experiments using primates continue to this day throughout the country, which the BUAV (British Union or the Abolition of Vivisection) believe are ethically unjustifiable and scientifically flawed.
Next of Kin, organised by the BUAV, was launched at the start of August with a petition of 163,000 signatures calling for a total ban on primate testing in the UK handed to 10 Downing Street. It has the support of celebrities Heather Small, Alexei Sayle, sports presenter Helen Chamberlain, actress Jenny Seagrove, and world famous primatologist Jane Goodall.
At the last official count, over 3,000 non-human primates were used in the UK (a rise of 20% on the previous year) with the UK one of the largest users in Europe2. All those procedures are liable to have caused “pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm” and are against the wishes of the general public3. Alternatives are available though, and, contrary to what those in favour of animal testing would lead the public to believe, less than 20% of primate use in laboratories is for medical research, 70% being for the profit of pharmaceutical companies. Ethical concerns and scientific doubts mean neither is justifiable.
After decades, scientists have failed to make significant breakthroughs in treating HIV or AIDS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's disease, or cancer - all human conditions which have been thoroughly, though pointlessly, explored through research on primates An over-reliance on animal experiments has actually hindered medical progress in many areas.
The Next of Kin campaign will raise awareness of the scientific and ethical concerns over experimenting on primates. For more information or to receive the Next of Kin campaign brochure, please contact the BUAV press office on 020 7619 6978 or email email@example.com
Statements from scientists:
“What good does it do you to test something in a monkey? You find five or six years from now that it works in the monkeys, anfd then you test it in humans and realise that humans behave totally differently from monkeys, so you’ve wasted fiver years.” Dr Mark Feinberg, leading AIDS researcher
“…the testing of vaccines and drugs in more animals will not be helpful if in the end these animals do not closely resemble humans. Even a vaccine that has 100% efficacy in [non-human primates]… might still be ineffective in humans. Conversely, a proficient vaccine developed in humans might never show benefit in the animal models.” Nath BM et al at the University of Pennsylvania: