Political pressure mounts to Save ThePrimates

17 March 2009 Science News

A parliamentary petition has been tabled calling for an end to primate testing.

It comes as MEPs debate changes to the animal testing regulations right across Europe for the first time in more than two decades. They are in the unique position to decide if primates will continue to be used in experiments or if steps will be taken to start the move away from animal testing.

EDM 1042 states "That this House is concerned to note that thousands of primates are used in experiments across Europe each year; further notes with deep regret that the European Commission refuses to implement a ban on live primate experiments across Europe; further notes that this is contrary to the wishes of 80 per cent of the population; and therefore calls on the Government to promote strongly a timetabled replacement of all primate experiments in Europe."

The co-sponsors of EDM 1042 are Independent MP for Castle Point, Bob Spink, and Torbay's Liberal Democrat MP, Adrian Sanders.

So far, the MPs that have signed up include:

Spink, Bob

George, Andrew

Russell, Bob

Taylor, David

Weir, Mike

Cryer, Ann

Sanders, Adrian

Hoyle, Lindsay

Marsden, Gordon

Caton, Martin

Dismore, Andrew

Pugh, John

Simpson, Alan

Hopkins, Kelvin

Mackinlay, Andrew

Breed, Colin

Drew, David

Hemming, John

Anderson, Janet

O'Hara, Edward

Hancock, Mike

Williams, Betty

Leech, John

The EDM builds momentum for the UK to take a strong stand on the use of primates in experiments. The European Commission has supported implementing a ban on the use of great apes and wild-caught primates, and a phase-out of all primate experiments, but there has been a strong backlash from the primate trade and user industries, who have managed to insert loopholes in the plans for a phase-out. This is despite the European Parliament adopting Written Declaration 40/2007 calling for a timetable to phase out primate testing, which was signed by 55% of MEPs, making it the most-backed animal protection measure in history.

A European Commission survey found that over 80% of European citizens felt that primate experiments were unacceptable.

Jan Creamer, ADI Chief Executive, commented: "I am delighted that these MPs have looked at the evidence and support putting a stop to primate experiments. Apes and monkeys are our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, and we can clearly comprehend how these animals suffer inside laboratories. I urge more MPs to sign the EDM and signal unequivocally to the Government that it needs to strongly promote a timetable to replace all primate experiments in Europe. These tests can and must be replaced by reliable human based research. "



For further information, contact ADI Public Relations Officer, Ally MacDonald Office Tel: 020 7630 3344.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The full text, and details of signatories of EDM 1042, can be found


 The full investigative video 'Save The Primates' is available to watch


 'Save the Primates - A study on the use of primates in regulatory testing' (short) is available here in pdf

 'Primate Testing in Europe - A report on the use of primates in regulatory testing in a typical European commercial testing laboratory'

(full) is available here in pdf:

The full text of Written Declaration 40 and details of signatories supporting a timetable to phase out all primate tests is available here:

The ADI 'Vision for Europe' report addressing concerns about the proposals to revise EC Directive 86/609 is available here:

The full text of the proposal to revise 86 609 EEC (released on November 5th, 2008) which governs the rules on all animal testing across Europe is available here:



Animal Defenders International (ADI)

With offices in London, San Francisco and Bogota, Animal Defenders International (ADI) campaigns to protect animals in entertainment, replacement of animals in experiments; worldwide traffic in endangered species; vegetarianism; factory farming; pollution and conservation.

ADI also rescues animals in distress worldwide. Our evidence has led to campaigns and legislative action all over the world to protect them.


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