The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) and Animal Defenders International (ADI) applaud the news that Ireland could become the first European country in the world to ban laboratory experiments on monkeys, after a long-running campaign in the EU.
The news of this important step comes as Europe gears up to review animal testing rules including a possible ban on primate experiments (EU Directive 86/609).
The proposed primate test ban appears in “Restriction on Animal Testing Bill 2007”, a Private Member’s Bill proposed this month by Green Dail Member (MP) Eamon Ryan. This states: “The Minister for Health and Children shall within six months of the passing of this Act introduce regulations prohibiting all experimentation on non-human primates for commercial or medical purposes”.
ADI’s ‘My Mate’s a Primate’ campaign (launched in 2005) stunned many MEPs and others when it highlighted all the evidence of the similarities between humans and other primates. Although other primates have been shown to have culture, use tools, have language, and some have learned to communicate with humans in American Sign Language, thousands of them are still used in Europe’s laboratories every year.
Three months after the launch of this unique campaign, animal protection groups in Europe signed the Berlin Declaration, calling on governments to end the use of primates in laboratories. The Berlin Declaration is now backed by over 70 animal protection groups.