Four Baboons escape from US laboratory
We urge laboratory to release primates into a reputable sanctuary
Last week in what the Washington Post called “nothing short of a daring escape to freedom,” four baboons escaped the Texas Biomedical Research Institute. All were recaptured within 30 minutes of leaving.
The baboons escaped the institute by rolling a 55-gallon barrel to the edge of the fence and standing it upright before climbing on top of it and leaping out. The barrels had been provided as an “enrichment” item in the baboons barren and dusty outdoor pen. The laboratory has now removed the barrels and suggested that they will be replaced with smaller barrels.
Our North American Campaign Manager Monica Engebretson said: “Under the U.S Animal Welfare Act laboratories are required to provide primates with “enrichment” to help alleviate boredom for these highly intelligent and sensitive animals. Unfortunately, many laboratories provide the bare minimum required under the law and sadly this seems to be the case for the more than 1,000 baboons held at Texas Biomedical Research Institute.”
Despite some superficial genetic similarity with humans monkey data does not translate well to human trials. We believe that there is a strong scientific case against using primates in research. Thanks to recent advances in technology there is a wide range of more human-relevant approaches to studying, understanding and contributing to the cure of many diseases.
We are calling on the Institute to release these baboons from their bleak enclosures to live out their lives at reputable sanctuaries.
Ingenious baboons escape Texas biomedical lab for brief taste of freedom