Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Austria moves towards ban on ape experiments

please sir, may i have some more?

An amendment to the law that would prohibit experiments on great apes is currently being considered in Austria.

Such experiments are currently neither requested or approved in Austria, but Education, Science and Culture Minister Elisabeth Gehrer believes nonetheless that a change to the law is desirable as it will send a strong signal on the protection of animals in Austria, and will put the country in a ground-breaking position.

The amendment would apply to research involving chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans and gorillas.

'Great apes are the animals that are most closely related to humans. It is of particular concern for me that there is this explicit prohibition. This will ensure that no such animal experiments will be carried out in the future either,' said Ms Gehrer.

According to the Austrian statement, only Sweden and the Netherlands have thus far introduced or made moves to introduce regulations preventing experiments on great apes.

The European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE) estimates that around 10,000 primates (includes both apes and monkeys) are used every year for scientific research in the EU. In 1999, the UK was the largest user of primates, using 3,191, Followed by France (2,322) and Germany (2,084).

Story here.

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