Answering parliamentary questions last week, the Home Office revealed it has no plans to phase out the use of primates in animal research. Asked if there was a strategy in place to end the use of monkeys in tests, Minister of State for Security at the Home Office Ben Wallace, responding on behalf of the Home Secretary, said no such proposals exist.
When asked by DUP MP, Sammy Wilson, if the Government was taking steps to reduce the use of primates in laboratories, Wallace said that monkeys are only used when necessary and that suffering was kept to a minimum. Yet our 2016 study shows that cruel experiments on monkeys’ brains are flawed and serve very little value.
Our paper found that data collected from monkeys used in neuroscience research is misleading and of poor relevance to people. This is due to the many important differences between monkeys and humans in brain structure and function. We also uncovered shocking evidence of physical deprivation, coercion and stress caused to primates used in research. During experiments monkeys are restrained for hours on end, deprived of water and subjected to highly invasive brain surgery.
Dr Katy Taylor, Director of Science at Cruelty Free International, said: “We are bitterly disappointed that the Government point blank refuses to address the cruel and unnecessary use of monkeys in tests, especially since we have offered to work together to bring about change. Morally and scientifically it is time for the use of monkeys in experiments to end. We call on the Home Office, who fund and license these experiments, to finally put in place a plan to stop this needless suffering.”