Animal Rights Collective Blog


Victory: EU Bans Testing on Great Apes! by christine
September 9, 2010, 11:23 pm
Filed under: AR News, News, Video | Tags: , ,

From The PETA Files:

There’s great news from across the Atlantic, where the European Union has voted to ban the use of great apes in experiments. The new legislation also places significant restrictions on testing on other primates and requires that non-animal methods be used whenever possible.

This is an exciting development—but it also raises a question: In light of this humane advance, how can the U.S. government justify its plans to transfer more than 200 “retired” chimpanzees from a facility in New Mexico to a research laboratory in Texas, where they’ll probably be forced to endure cruel experiments?

There is no excuse for it, of course, so please help us persuade officials to permanently retire the chimpanzees to a sanctuary.

Posted by Jeff Mackey

New EU Rules on Animal Testing Ban Use of Apes

from AFP

STRASBOURG — Europe banned the use of great apes in animal testing Wednesday as part of drastically tightened rules to scale back the number of animals used in scientific research.

After two years of heated debate on how to protect animal welfare without scuppering scientific research, the new limits, updating regulations from 1986, were adopted by the European Parliament despite objections from Green MEPs.

Under the new legislations, experiments on great apes such as chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans are to be banned and “strict” restrictions set on the use of primates in general.

Members of the 27-nation bloc, who are given two years to comply with the rules, also need “to ensure that whenever an alternative method is available, this is used instead of animal testing.”

And they must work at “reducing levels of pain inflicted on animals.”

Proponents of the abolition of animal testing objected that the new rules failed to go far enough.

“Animals will still be used as guinea pigs,” said the Greens in a statement. “They will still suffer pain.”

“It is possible to reduce the number of animals used for science without hindering research,” added Belgian Green Isballe Durant.

But Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner John Dalli dubbed it “a good compromise on a difficult topic.”

“Today we have the chance to bring the EU to the forefront by caring for animals and protecting science,” he said.

Other MEPs said the demands of scientific research came over and above animal welfare.

“An animal’s an animal and a human being’s a human being,” said Italian conservative Herbert Dorfmann.

“Medical progress is crucial to humanity and unfortunately, to achieve this progress there must be animal testing.”

The legislation notably allows the use of primates in testing illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, cancer or Parkinson’s disease if there is scientific evidence that the research cannot be achieved without using these species.

To avoid repeated suffering by an animal, it lists different categories of pain that may be inflicted during a test (non-recovery, mild, moderate or severe) and proposes that the same animals be reused only if the pain is classed as “moderate,” and provided a vet is consulted.

At the moment some 12 million animals are used each year in scientific experiments in the EU.

The legislation calls for government inspections on a third of national laboratories that use animals, some of which must be unannounced.

Last year the European Union banned the testing of animals for developing cosmetics, except for long-running toxicology tests which will be banned altogether in 2013.

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NASA to Radiate Squirrel Monkeys by christine

NASA will be exposing 18 to 28 squirrel monkeys to low doses of radiation to understand the effects of long distance space travel.

With NASA’s conference in DC this week, we have to mention…

NASA’s Plan to Radiate Squirrel Monkeys

For the first time in decades NASA is stepping up its space radiation program to use monkeys as the subjects of its studies.  NASA will expose 18 to 28 Squirrel monkeys to radiation and periodically test them to gauge how exposure affects performance in a variety of learned tasks. This research will violate NASA’s own stated principles regarding animal ethics. According to the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), “that policy, established in 1996, asserts that ‘the minimization of distress, pain and suffering is a moral imperative’ and emphasizes that experimenters must weigh the burdens of animal subjects against potential societal benefits.”

from PETA

NASA has recently announced a shocking plan to spend $1.75 million of taxpayer money to fund an experiment in which up to 30 squirrel monkeys will be blasted with a massive dose of radiation equivalent to what a human would experience during three years in outer space. These monkeys will then live the rest of their lives in cages and be forced to endure years of behavioral tests to measure the inevitable devastation that the radiation causes to their brains and bodies, which would likely include brain damage, skin inflammation, blindness, various types of cancer, including brain tumors, and premature death.

Like all animal experiments, physiological and anatomical differences between species make it impossible to generate data that can be reliably applied to humans. And the large single dose of radiation that the monkeys will be exposed to in a matter of minutes is nothing like the low levels of radiation that human astronauts would be exposed to over extended periods of time in space. The only guarantee that comes with these experiments is that sensitive and intelligent monkeys will be caused immeasurable harm.

from Animal-rights activists vs. NASA over plan to radiate monkeys

Science Takes a Giant Leap Backward

Kathleen Conlee, director of program management for animal research at the Humane Society, worked with monkeys used in radiation experiments. She said the effects on the animals were devastating.

“Their teeth fell out. They self-mutilated,” she said.

Conlee said NASA is disregarding its own guidelines. Humane Society Executive Vice President Andrew Rowan “chaired a committee that was convened by NASA itself,” Conlee said. “And they came out with a report on animal use. This use goes against many of the principles in that report.”

Ineffective

PETA believes the experiment is not just harmful but useless.

The monkeys will receive vastly different quantities of radiation than humans would receive while traveling through space, Justin Goodman, a research supervisor at PETA and a protester said.

“The current experiment that’s being planned is going to expose monkeys to one massive dose of radiation,” Goodman said.

“When humans go into space, they’re going to be exposed to a low level of radiation.”

Conlee said other primates often don’t react as humans do.

“Just because you’re using a primate doesn’t mean that you’re going to get the results a human would,” Conlee said.

Conlee said that similar experiments have already been conducted on many animals, including primates.

“There have been literally hundreds of government-funded radiation experiments since the ’50s,” she said. “This data is already out there.”

Waste of money

The experiment is costly, and since NASA is a government agency, the money will come from taxpayers.

“NASA’s about to squander $2 million of public tax money on these experiments,” Goodman said.

Sign the Petitions!

Ask Administrator Bolden to Stop the Use of Monkeys in Space Radiation Studies

Tell Congress to stop NASA’s Cruel Monkey Experiments

Doctors File Federal Petition to Stop NASA’s Monkey Radiation Experiments

Use of Squirrel Monkeys Called Giant Leap Backward for Space Agency

PCRM Press Release

WASHINGTON—A nonprofit physicians organization is confronting NASA over the space agency’s plan to expose squirrel monkeys to radiation in an attempt to understand the effects of interplanetary travel. In a federal petition for administrative action filed Nov. 5, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) seeks to compel the government to halt the monkey experiments because they violate the NASA Principles for the Ethical Care and Use of Animals, also known as the Sundowner Report. The space agency has not used monkeys for radiobiology research in decades.

“Irradiating monkeys would be one giant leap backward for NASA,” says Hope Ferdowsian, M.D., M.P.H., PCRM’s director of research policy. “The proposed experiments are cruel, unnecessary, and lack scientific merit. There are better, more humane ways of understanding the potential dangers of interplanetary travel to humans. Scientific progress can only proceed with a strong ethical foundation.”

The experiments—proposed by researcher Jack Bergman of McLean Hospital in Boston—would involve irradiating monkeys and testing them to see how they perform on various tasks. Bergman has used squirrel monkeys for 15 years in addiction experiments, which have involved applying electric shocks, withholding food, and completely immobilizing the animals in restraint chairs for extended periods.

Radiation experiments involving nonhuman primates commonly involve restraint and other inhumane procedures. PCRM’s petition for administrative action points out that Bergman’s radiation experiments will violate the standards of the Sundowner Report, a landmark 1996 NASA document that requires researchers to respect living creatures and to consider the full range of societal good that may come from an experiment. Additionally, nonanimal methods should be used whenever possible.

PCRM’s petition for administrative action states, “Genetic, physiological, and anatomical differences between humans and monkeys dramatically limit the conclusions that can be drawn from the planned experiments. Ongoing studies, including those funded by NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy, already use nonanimal methods to determine the effects of low-dose radiation on human tissues.”

The petition continues: “Interplanetary human travel is, at best, a highly speculative aim for the foreseeable future. It is obviously fraught with many dangers and enormous expense, while serving goals that are not at all clear. To put animals through radiation tests now in anticipation of such an enterprise is in no way justified.”

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

In The News:

Animal-rights activists vs. NASA over plan to radiate monkeys

NASA-funded monkey-radiation experiment raises hackles



Primate Liberation Week Protest! by christine

To hold those responsible for the atrocities against primates, we will be protesting the National Institute of Health on Wednesday, October 21st. The NIH is the primary agency of the US government responsible for biomedical and health-related research, and funds highly redundant, inhumane, and wasteful vivisection. The NIH has funded the experiments of Johns Hopkins, Yale, University of Washington, and UCLA. Examples of their cruelty can be seen in the “Primate Liberation Week” post below, or at Stop Animal Experimentation Now.

Come out and raise your voice for them! Their screams are silenced.

Scared

Meet at Old Georgetown Road & West Cedar Lane, Bethesda MD – 4 to 6 pm. Bring comfortable walking shoes and a loud voice!

Metro: Take the Red Line (toward Shady Grove) to the Medical Center station. From station, walk North toward West Cedar Lane. Take a left on West Cedar Lane and walk until you hit Old Georgetown Road. It’s about a mile walk, or you can take the bus.

Let Dr. Francis S. Collins, Director of NIH know that you do not approve of him committing these archaic atrocities against primates in your name and with your tax dollars.

Dr. Francis S. Collins, Director of NIH

301-496-2433 | francis.collins@nih.gov



Primate Liberation Week: October 17-24, 2009 by christine

Even George Mason University endorses and will soon be conducting (if they don’t already) experiments on primates. A Biomedical Research Laboratory is being finished at the Prince William Campus, which will test on primates, rabbits and rodents, and then toss their mutilated bodies into a chemical digester. This doesn’t include the archaic and perverted animal tests that already occur on our campus. For example, the psychology department at GMU conducts testing on rodents, shocking them in order to induce fear in what is called a “fear conditioning chamber.”

That makes George Mason University President Alan G. Merten complicit in animal cruelty, tell him you do not approve.

President Alan G. Merten, Office of the President

D103 Mason Hall, Ffx, MSN: 3A1

Phone: (703) 993-8700 | Fax: (703) 993-8880

amerten@gmu.edu

Primate Experimentation in the United States: 

A National Picture

from Stop Animal Exploitation Now! (SAEN)

The Facts About Animal Experiments

Primate experimentation in the U.S. is out of control. All-time high 69,990 primates are imprisoned in US labs for experimentation – a five year increase of 31%. An equal amount are held captive for breeding, making the total closer to 120,000. We estimate that funding for primate experimentation has also increased reaching $1.6 billion during fiscal 2007. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is responsible for most of this waste. Experimentation on primates is funded by several federal agencies including NIH, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense.

restraint chair

Widespread Suffering

Many different species of primates including macaque monkeys, squirrel monkeys, baboons, and chimpanzees are experimented on in many different ways. Macaque monkeys are used most often, with baboons second and squirrel monkeys third.
Isolation is severely stressful to primates. In fact, 10% of isolated primates are so severely stressed that they begin to engage in self-injurious behavior. Many different psychological experiments also stress primates severely. Many primates suffer terribly inside labs across the U.S.

Harvard – 2100 primates imprisoned; 55% infant mortality rate; over 300 primates in solitary confinement; many exhibiting signs of pathological behavior.

University of California, Davis – 7700 primates confined, records for 400 monkeys revealed 403 traumatic injuries, 143 amputations, along with 387 wounds, 221 bites, 70 abrasions, 171 lacerations, and 40 fractures. Experiments confine primates to restraint chairs and use water deprivation.

Wake Forest – imprisons over 1000 primates; monkeys are socially isolated, deprived of sleep and subjected to addiction drugs.

University of Wisconsin Madison — (UW) imprisons approximately 1500 primates. Primates escape from cages severely injuring other animals. Other monkeys suffer with brain abscesses due to the bolting of devices into the bones of the skull.

Brain Implant

University of California, San Francisco – Over 100 primates incarcerated; government documents reveal primates deprived of water for as much as 22 hours per day. Monkeys lose over 15% of their body weight and self mutilate in neurological experiments.

Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research – imprisons over 5700 primates; recently cited for beginning post-mortem dissection of a baboon that was not yet dead.

University of Washington, Seattle – Over 2200 primate imprisoned. Recently cited for performing unapproved surgical procedures – one researcher entirely removed the head of a primate.

Johns Hopkins University – confines over 800 primates; monkeys are used in drug addiction experiments and brain mapping projects which force electrodes directly into the brain of conscious animals.

University of Minnesota – imprisons over 180 primates; drug addiction experiments during which primates are so stressed that they rip out their own hair while screaming; other monkeys are deprived of water and socially isolated.

primate-vivi9

Many diseases and conditions plague the primates that are held captive within laboratories, such as: meningitis, pneumonia, encephalitis, hepatitis, and gastric bloat. Monkeys often lose fingers, toes, and tails through amputation.



Common experimental practices include depriving primates of food or water so that these things become effective rewards. In some instances, the primates may receive water for only an hour or two per day, or are deprived of as much as 20% of their regular food intake.



The use of primate restraint chairs is also common, with confinement reaching as much as 104 consecutive hours. These devices are highly stressful for normally active and mobile primates. In brain mapping experiments many devices are literally bolted onto the skulls of primates, and electrodes are fed directly into the brain. Intravenous catheters are surgically implanted in experiments with addictive drugs. These devices can lead to serious infections, and other potentially fatal conditions.

Government Waste

Most primates are not used in experiments that study the diseases that kill most Americans. Projects that study primate psychology, alcohol & addictive drugs, brain-mapping, and sex in primates far outnumber studies involving heart disease or cancer. Repetition is rampant among NIH-funded projects. Currently, the National Eye Institute funds 57 projects that use primates in brain-mapping. These duplicative experiments waste over $110 million every five years. Many of these projects continue on for decades wasting millions of tax dollars each year and victimizing primates for an entire lifetime.

Remember one thing: the primates who are suffering in laboratories as you read this letter are depending on us to work together to fight for their freedom. We must exercise our rights (free speech, freedom of assembly, etc.) so that we can fight for the recognition of their rights. They have no voice but ours. They have no protection, no hope, unless you act. For every activist that does nothing, more primates suffer and die.

To learn more about primate experimentation in the US, visit SAEN.

Video: Cruelty at Covance Labs in Vienna, VA

Sign the Covance Petition

cling

Did you know Tylenol kills cats and dogs? Or that Penicillin kills guinea pigs? Learn why animal testing is antiquated and about alternatives to animal testing.

Learn more about primates in laboratories

Speak Out for Chimps

Unseen they suffer,

Unheard they cry,

In agony they linger,

In loneliness they die.

monkey

Your Liberation is Bound Up in Mine

Liberation

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr. 

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