22 April 2007
MONKEY HORROR pets AND THEIR people Join charities' fight to stamp out lab cruelty
UP to 10,000 monkeys are being put through "needless and horrific" tests in UK labs, leading charities claim.
They have been pickled alive, had recording devices implanted in their brains and been blasted with light before being killed.
Charities will protest against the cruelty for World Lab Animal Day on Tuesday claiming many of these experiments are unnecessary.
Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, said: "Testing on animals is a vicious habit.
"And evidence is building that these tests do not relate to humans." Animal Aid compiled a dossier claiming Essex scientists pickled marmosets alive so tissue would be better preserved for dissection.
Experts in Hull, Bristol, Nottingham and Newcastle, were said to have implanted electrodes in marmosets, forced them to wear contact lenses and blasted them with light before killing them.
And researchers in London implanted recording devices in macaques' brains to see how they viewed colour - only to conclude the experiment was a waste of time.
The charity's report claims many results are little help to developing human medicines and much of the current data is identical to that gained from similar trials decades ago.
Andrew Tyler added: "People readers won't realise their taxes are indirectly paying for tests because the Government funds most research." Animal Aid will hand out information packs in 150 towns on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Animal Defenders International and the National Anti-Vivisection Society are calling on MEPs to back a European test ban.
But Iain Simpson, of Pro-Test, who support animal experiments, said: "Britain's animal testing is the most tightly regulated in the world. Insulin and penicillin were developed from animal models."