BOSTON, April 24, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS) is calling on the National Institutes of Health not to weaken laws meant to offer minimal protections to animals in labs. Members of the public are asked to go online and tell NIH that animal welfare must not be compromised as part of the agency's current attempts to decrease its regulatory burden.
World Week for Animals in Laboratories is held each year during the last week of April. Its goal is to increase awareness and support for the plight of animals in labs. To mark this important week, NEAVS and We Animals are releasing a short film by We Animals' filmmaker Kelly Guerin. The film highlights the impact of existing weak regulatory standards for protections of primates' psychological well-being as required by federal law. Titled "Empty Laws," the film captures what is wrong with already weak regulatory standards and enforcement that cannot be compromised any further.
NEAVS and We Animals will release the film at 3PM (EST) on Tuesday, April 24th on NEAVS' Facebook page.
Of the film and its message, film producer and NEAVS President Emeritus, Dr. Theodora Capaldo said: "It is not just the invasive procedures and the physical pain; it is the endless fear, suffocating boredom and absolute powerlessness to protect themselves that cause enormous and unrelenting psychological suffering in primates in labs. Add to all that ineffective and poorly enforced regulations and you know why they suffer tremendously not only during their time in a lab, but for many, even once rescued and safe in sanctuary."
On her experience documenting some of the few primates ever to make it out of research alive, filmmaker Kelly Guerin stated: "One of the most challenging aspects of telling lab animal-centered stories is they are mostly hidden from public view. Documenting the lucky few who had been placed in sanctuaries would be the closest I could hope to get. Though they have flourished under the peace of sanctuary life, their past traumas will always be with them. This film can help shine a light on the thousands of primates left behind, unseen, still in labs."
Although primates are genetically similar to humans, there are major biological differences that render them an inaccurate model for predicting human health and disease.
In 2016, 71,188 primates were used in research or testing in the United States – a 15% increase from 2015.