Historic Push for U.S. and EU Bans on Monkey Experiments International Primate Day - September 1st 2006



    SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- To mark International
 Primate Day (September 1st) organized by Animal Defenders International,
 motions have been simultaneously placed before the US House of
 Representatives and the European Parliament calling for an end to
 experiments on non-human primates. Motions are also being tabled in the UK
 Parliament, the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly, and it is
 planned for other countries to follow suit.
     This is believed to be the first time that a global animal protection
 campaign has been initiated in the US and European Parliaments on the same
 day, and signals an international drive to end non-human primate
 experiments.
     The ADI campaign has the backing of Twiggy, Alexei Sayle, Jenny
 Seagrove, Carol Royle, and Uri Geller who this week have appeared online
 urging people to back a primate test ban. The call is also backed by over
 150 animal protection groups around the world indicating how momentum is
 gathering on this especially sensitive area of animal research.
     International Primate Day will be marked with activity in the USA and
 Europe, with a new report on non-human primate experiments being delivered
 to Tony Blair at 10.30am on Friday, 1 September. The new ADI report will
 highlight not only the similarities between humans and other primates, but
 the crucial differences that are so important in biomedical research, as
 well as the non-animal techniques that could be used instead.
     Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of ADI: "Earlier this year, people in the
 UK were horrified by the terrible side effects suffered by human
 volunteers, caused by the test drug TGN1412. The drug had been given to
 monkeys in doses 500 times stronger without such side effects."
     The report is accompanied by a new video and photographs taken this
 summer inside Europe's largest laboratory monkey supply facility. The
 facility in Camarles, Spain currently holds several hundred macaque monkeys
 from Mauritius but has a capacity for around 3,000. Europe currently uses a
 total of approximately 7,500 macaques a year, so ADI fear the centre could
 fuel an explosion in EU monkey experiments.
     It's time for change.
     The EU is currently considering plans to overhaul animal
 experimentation rules under EC Directive 86/609, including a possible ban
 on experiments on chimpanzees and a review of the future of experiments on
 monkeys in the EU. If the EU takes a stand as is hoped, then it would be
 logical for the US to do the same.
     The motion before the US House of Representatives is being tabled by
 Nancy Pelosi (Democrat), the Majority Leader of the House of
 Representatives. The motion before the Scottish parliament is being tabled
 by Chris Ballance (Green Party). The motion is as follows:
     "That this House welcomes International Primate Day on 1st September
 2006 organized by Animal Defenders International; expresses its deep
 concern that the United States is the world's largest user of laboratory
 monkeys; highlights that the use of non-human primates is an unreliable
 predictor of likely human effects, as the disastrous TGN1412 has shown; is
 alarmed by the fact that the very existence of many primate species is
 threatened by the laboratory and pet trades as well as the use of primates
 for entertainment; calls on the federal government to push for a ban on
 primates in experiments; and further asks the federal government to support
 the Berlin Declaration calling for an end to primate experiments, which has
 been signed by over 85 organizations worldwide."
     A Written Declaration is being sponsored in the European Parliament by
 UK MEPs David Martin, Vice-President of the European Parliament
 (Labour-Party of European Socialists); Robert Evans (Lab-PES); Sajjad Karim
 (Liberal Democrats- Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe);
 together with Portuguese MEP Paulo Casaca (PES), President of the Inter
 Group on Animal welfare and Swedish MEP Carl Schlyter (Green Party). The
 declaration supports International Primate Day and urges:
     " ... the Commission to propose an end to all non-human primate
 experiments in the revision process of Directive 86/609 EC on the use of
 animals in scientific procedures, specifically: to prohibit chimpanzee
 experiments and the use of wild-caught primates in the EU and phase out all
 non-human primate experiments in the EU over the next 6 years."
     Jan Creamer: "There is a genuine opportunity to end the suffering of
 primates in laboratories. The EU has recognised this and MEPs have before
 them the chance to take huge step forward. These animals are our closest
 relatives; almost all of the primate species share more than 90% of their
 genetic make up with us, with chimpanzees and humans differing by as little
 as 2% of DNA. The similarities in behaviour, emotions, and intellectual
 performance between ourselves and our fellow primates are striking. It is
 time for the European Union to take action to protect the primate nations."
     An Early Day Motion before the UK Parliament has been tabled by Colin
 Challen MP (Lab), and has the backing of fourteen MPs -- Bob Russell, David
 Drew, Andrew Dismore, Derek Wyatt, Eric Illsley, Kelvin Hopkins, Greg
 Knight, Jeremy Corbyn, Ann Cryer, Andrew George, David Taylor, Rudi Vis,
 Betty Williams, Linda Riordan.
     ADI's London office will be rallying supporters in the UK to call on
 their MEPs to sign the declaration and ADI San Francisco will be doing the
 same in the US.
     High res photographs and video inside the laboratory animal supplier
 and celebrities available.
     Further information contact ADI Press Office:
     Allison Tuffrey Jones or Abigail Girling
     Tel: 020 8563 0250 / 020 8846 9777.        Mob:  07785 552548
     Email: pr@ad-international.org
     To contact ADI's US office, please call (415)876-2344
 
     EDITOR'S NOTES:
     International Primate Day was founded in 2005 by Animal Defenders
 International, as part of our 'My Mate's a Primate' campaign which is an
 alert to the four major threats to the very survival of some of the
 non-human primate nations -- the bushmeat, laboratory, pet, and
 entertainment trades.
     The USA is the largest user of laboratory primates in the world. The UK
 is the largest user of laboratory monkeys in the EU with primate test up in
 2005. Three countries, the UK, France and Germany are responsible for
 almost all of the 10,000 experiments on monkeys in the EU (1).
     The Spanish monkey dealer exposed by ADI is importing macaque monkeys
 from Mauritius. It will have an estimated capacity for 3,000 macaque --
 almost half of the EU's annual macaque use (75-80% of all laboratory
 monkeys used in the EU are macaques(1)).
     (1) EC 86/609 Expert consultation, NAVS and references therein.
 
     The Parliamentary Motions
     The US House of Representatives
     Tabled by Nancy Pelosi (Democrat), the Majority Leader of the House of
 Representatives.
     "That this House welcomes International Primate Day on 1st September
 2006 organized by Animal Defenders International; expresses its deep
 concern that the United States is the world's largest user of laboratory
 monkeys; highlights that the use of non-human primates is an unreliable
 predictor of likely human effects, as the disastrous TGN1412 has shown; is
 alarmed by the fact that the very existence of many primate species is
 threatened by the laboratory and pet trades as well as the use of primates
 for entertainment; calls on the federal government to push for a ban on
 primates in experiments; and further asks the federal government to support
 the Berlin Declaration calling for an end to primate experiments, which has
 been signed by over 85 organizations worldwide."
     European Parliament
     Written Declartion pursuant to Rule 116 of the Rules of Procedure, by
 Robert Evans, Paolo Casaca, David Martin, Sajjad Karim and Carl Schlyter on
 primates in scientific experiments:
     -- having regard to Rule 116 of its Rules of Procedure,
     A. considering Protocol No. 33 to the EC Treaty stating that, "the
 Community and the Member States shall pay full regard to the welfare
 requirements of animals" in formulating the Community's research policy,
     B. noting the Berlin Declaration, signed by over 200 international
 animal protection organisations, scientists, public figures and
 parliamentarians calls for: " ... an immediate, internationally
 co-ordinated effort to bring all non-human primate experiments to an end."
     C. noting that primates have a high level of intelligence, being the
 closest relative to humans, with certain species such as chimpanzees
 sharing 98% of human DNA,
     D. noting that International Primate Day 2006 organised by Animal
 Defenders International is aimed at raising awareness worldwide about the
 hazards faced by non-human primates. The very existence of primates is
 being threatened by the bushmeat, laboratory, entertainment and pet trades,
     I. Urges the Commission to propose an end to all non-human primate
 experiments in the revision process of Directive 86/609 EC on the use of
 animals in scientific procedures, specifically: to prohibit chimpanzee
 experiments and the use of wild-caught primates in the EU and phase out all
 non-human primate experiments in the EU over the next 6 years,
     II. Instructs its President to forward this declaration, together with
 the names of the signatories, to the Council, Commission and Member States.
     UK Parliament:
     Early Day Motion 2633: International Primate Day, tabled by Colin
 Challen MP (Lab), and has the backing of fourteen MPs (Bob Russel, David
 Drew, Andrew Dismore, Derek Wyatt, Eric (
 http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMByMember.aspx?MID=4691 ) Illsley, (
 http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMByMember.aspx?MID=1109 ) Kelvin Hopkins,
 Greg ( http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMByMember.aspx?MID=1016 ) Knight,
 Jeremy Corbyn, ( http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMByMember.aspx?MID=1343 )
 Ann Cryer, Andrew George, David Taylor, Rudi Vis, Betty Williams, Linda
 Riordan).
     "That this House welcomes International Primate Day on 1st September
 2006, organised by Animal Defenders International; expresses its deep
 concern that the United Kingdom has become Europe's largest user of
 laboratory monkeys; notes that the use of monkeys in military experiments
 has soared by 76 per cent. in the last five years; highlights that the use
 of non-human primates is an unreliable predictor of likely human effects,
 as the disastrous TGN1412 has shown; is alarmed by the fact that the very
 existence of many primate species is threatened by the bushmeat, laboratory
 and pet trades as well as the use of primates for entertainment; calls on
 the Government to push for a ban on primates in experiments at the EU level
 during the current revision process of EU Directive 86/609; and further
 asks the Government to support the Berlin Declaration calling for an end to
 primate experiments, which has been signed by over 70 organisations
 worldwide."
     Scottish Parliament:
     Motion tabled by Chris Ballance (Green Party) -- International Primate
 Day --
     "That the Parliament welcomes International Primate Day on 1st
 September 2006, organised by Animal Defenders International; expresses its
 deep concern that the United Kingdom has become Europe's largest user of
 laboratory monkeys; notes that the use of monkeys in military experiments
 has soared by 76 per cent. in the last five years; highlights that the use
 of non-human primates is an unreliable predictor of likely human effects,
 as the disastrous TGN1412 has shown; is alarmed by the fact that the very
 existence of many primate species is threatened by the bushmeat, laboratory
 and pet trades as well as the use of primates for entertainment; calls on
 the Scottish Executive to push for a ban on primates in experiments at the
 EU level during the current revision process of EU Directive 86/609; and
 further asks the Scottish Executive to support the Berlin Declaration
 calling for an end to primate experiments, which has been signed by over
 200 animal protection organisations, scientists, public figures and
 parliamentarians worldwide."
     Welsh Assembly
     Statement of Opinion tabled by Lorraine Barret AM (Lab - Cooperative)
     "The National Assembly for Wales welcomes International Primate Day on
 1st September 2006, organised by Animal Defenders International; expresses
 its concern that the United Kingdom has become Europe's largest user of
 laboratory monkeys; is alarmed by the fact that the very existence of many
 primate species is threatened by the bushmeat, laboratory and pet trades as
 well as the use of primates for entertainment; calls on the Welsh Assembly
 Government, in any discussions at UK or European level, to give its support
 towards a ban on primate experiments, particularly during the current
 revision process of EU Directive 86/609."
     The Berlin Declaration
     This call for an end to the use of primates in research, has been
 signed by scientists, academics, animal welfare organisations and others
 worldwide. Signatures are still being added and now stand at 215 --
 representing the views of millions of ordinary people, worldwide. It
 states:
     "Animal protection organisations and scientists have united to call for
 an end to the use of non-human primates in biomedical research and testing.
 We urge governments, regulators, industry, scientists and research funders
 worldwide to accept the need to end primate use as a legitimate and
 essential goal; to make achieving this goal a high priority; and work
 together to facilitate this. In particular, we believe there must be an
 immediate, internationally co-ordinated effort to bring all non-human
 primate experiments to an end."
     Notes from the report My Mate's a Primate (ADI, 2005):
     Almost all of the primate species share more than 90% of their genetic
 make up with us, with chimpanzees and humans differing by as little as 2%
 of DNA. Some scientists have even proposed that chimpanzees be included in
 the same genus as us humans (Homo sapien) -- that they be reclassified as
 Homo troglodytes.
     The similarities in behaviour, emotions, and intellectual performance
 between ourselves and our fellow primates are striking.
     For example chimp babies need the same things as human children, they
 need to be held, loved, talked to and played with. Studies have shown that
 chimps are highly intelligent and co-operative; they nurture family bonds,
 adopt orphans, mourn, practice self-medication and engage in struggles for
 power. They also exhibit many of the same emotions once thought to be
 exclusive to humans such as jealousy, envy, compassion, greed, sloth,
 avarice and malice.
     Even our slightly more distant relatives -- the monkeys -- can also
 display similar emotions and intelligence. Whilst chimpanzees may be our
 closest family, it is acknowledged that all the non-human primate species
 are intelligent, dextrous, can problem solve, live in important social
 structures, and require a stimulating environment.
 
 

SOURCE Animal Defenders International

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