29th February 2016
Secretive hospitals caught subjecting baboons to cruel experiments in Australia
Baboons suffering and dying after kidney transplants in scientifically and ethically unjustified research
Australian universities and hospitals are carrying out cruel tax-funded experiments on primates and hiding the details from the public, according to a recent investigation reported in the Australian media.1
Investigators have uncovered several disturbing experiments including cruel studies into human reproductive disorders and xenotransplantion. Xenotransplantation is the transplanting of organs from one species to another.
Their investigation found that baboons died during these studies. For example, one of the baboons, Conan, had to be killed because of fatal complications arising from the insertion of a pig's kidney into his body.
Worryingly, the Universities are refusing to disclose more information to the public and are even denying that this research is taking place, despite the evidence.
Xenotransplantation has been attempted thousands of times using animals and has monumentally failed because of problems with safety, species differences and organ rejection.
Researchers have recently claimed that they have tackled some of these problems by creating genetically modified piglets whose organs have been tweaked to be more compatible with the baboon’s immune system.
However, a recent review highlighted the fact that genetically modifying pigs is an extremely time-consuming and expensive process.2 This flies in the face of some scientists’ claims that using pigs will allow them to produce a ‘limitless supply of organs’ to cure human diseases.
Clearly the solution lies in efforts to increase the availability of human organs and not in the barbaric use of animals as ‘spare parts’.
As well as xenotransplantation, other medical research involving primates has proven highly unpredictive of human outcomes and cannot be justified scientifically or ethically.3
For example, a new scientific paper published by Cruelty Free International in January has revealed that drug tests on monkeys are just as poor as using any other species in predicting the effects on humans.
We've recently submitted our evidence to support Senator Rhiannon’s bill to end the import of primates into Australia for research. This exposé of the dreadful experiments they could be exposed to in Australia makes it all the more important that this bill is successful.
We’ll be supporting this important step towards an end to cruel primate research in Australia.
- Baboons used in ‘Frankenstein-like’ medical experiments. (2016). The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 Jan: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/animals/baboons-used-in-frankenstein-like-experiments-in-sydney-20160120-gm9wa8.html
- Xenotransplantation makes a comeback. (2016). Nature Biotechnology, 34(1): 3-4: http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v34/n1/full/nbt0116-3.html
- Predicting human drug toxicity and safety via animal tests: can any one species predict drug toxicity in any other, and do monkeys help? (2015). ATLA,43: 393-403.