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Scotland goes ape - Every Scottish MEP backs call to end primate testing

ADI: Scotland goes ape - Every Scottish MEP backs call to end primate testing
02 Jul 2007

All Scottish MEPs - Alyn Smith, David Martin, Ian Hudghton, John Purvis, Struan Stevenson, Catherine Stihler and Elspeth Attwooll, have put their signatures to Written Declaration (WD) 40/2007 to put a stop to primate tests in Europe. They join 179 MEPs representing every country in Europe and every political persuasion, who have also signed the declaration.

The Written Declaration sponsored for ADI by MEP John Bowis, a former Health Minister in the John Major Government, calls for urgent action to end experiments on apes and wild caught monkeys and for the European Parliament to set a timetable to replace all experiments on primates (as it did previously with cosmetics testing on animals).

The campaign which aims to secure the backing of 393 MEP signatures by September is being stepped up by Animal Defenders International (ADI) in the lead up to the Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg starting on July 9th. This week an ADI report on the use of primates in experiments, translated into six languages, was hand delivered to every MEP who has not yet signed, with more activity planned next week.

Over 10,000 monkeys are used in European laboratories each year including approximately 1,000 monkeys that are snatched terrified form the wild. Plans have also been mooted by the European Commission to build a centralised chimpanzee super lab - a move ADI are desperate to block.

Jan Creamer, ADI chief executive, commented: "We would like to say a huge thank you to Scotland's MEPs, and also to all of our supporters in Scotland who contacted their MEPs urging them to sign the Written Declaration. Scotland can be proud to be taking such a compassionate lead. Apes and monkeys are our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, we can clearly comprehend how these animals suffer inside laboratories. These tests, can and must be replaced by reliable human based research. This Written Declaration represents an important commitment to animal protection and towards science."

Ian Hudghton MEP, Leader of the SNP Group in the European Parliament, commented: "A very large number of constituents from Scotland are deeply concerned at the continuation of primate testing, and I fully support this declaration calling for phasing out of the practice."

A Europe-wide Survey showed that 80% of respondents considered primate experiments as not acceptable.


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