16th February 2017
5 reasons European review is a missed opportunity for monkeys
New review of monkey experiments is biased and unscientific
The European Commission is currently reviewing the need for monkey research, and its working group has just published its first opinion.
The Scientific Committee on Health Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) report was an opportunity to make a real difference for monkeys languishing in European laboratories.
But sadly instead, our experts have found it lacks both objectivity and scientific value.
Here are 5 reasons the review is a missed opportunity for monkeys:
- The working group included no animal protection experts, as had been promised
- It accepted opinions from monkey researchers about how important their work is, instead of requiring robust evidence
- It failed to take a critical view of monkey experiments, seeking instead to justify, or even passively accept, them
- It overstated the benefits of research on monkeys
- Alternatives to using monkeys were often too readily dismissed, while shortcomings of monkey use were overlooked
Dr Jarrod Bailey, Cruelty Free International Senior Research Scientist, says: “Advocates of monkey experiments will claim that this opinion demonstrates that subjecting sensitive monkeys to cruel, invasive and often fatal research has some value for human medicine. But in fact, the entire process is so seriously flawed as to render it almost worthless.
Until a proper, balanced, independent, comprehensive and systematic review of monkey research is conducted, the European Commission will always be supplied with poor quality misleading opinion-based evidence by those with vested interests in monkey research.”
We are concerned that if the opinion is adopted, monkeys will be forced to continue to suffer in laboratories and breeding farms.
Instead, we think the European Commission should be more vigorously encouraging the development of human-relevant science to generate breakthroughs in the understanding and treatment of human diseases.
A hearing on the SCHEER report will be taking place in Luxembourg in March.