The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

RSPCA Urges MEPs to Reduce Suffering

SPCA Urges MEPs To Reduce Suffering of 10,000 Primates Used In Experiments Every Year

More than 10,000 primates will continue to suffer pain and distress every year in EU laboratories if politicians vote next week to weaken a proposed new law meant to protect them.

The RSPCA fears that the European Parliament will cave in after pro-animal use lobbyists made exaggerated claims that tougher rules on using primates will lead to live-saving research grinding to a halt in Europe.

On Tuesday 5 May the Parliament will agree its amendments to the European Commission’s plans for updating European Directive 86/609, which regulates the use of animals in research and testing.

Barney Reed, RSPCA senior scientist, said: In 2007, MEPs overwhelmingly supported a declaration calling for an end to the use of great apes and wild-caught primates in research in Europe and a clear strategy for replacing all primate experiments with humane alternatives.

They now have the chance to back their words up with actions by voting for these measures to be part of a new law on animal experiments.

“Primates have the capacity to suffer in similar ways to humans. There is no question that they can experience significant pain and psychological distress as a result of being confined in laboratories and used in experiments.

The European Commission's original draft legislation proposed phasing out the use of wild caught primates and their immediate offspring, and generally limiting the use of primates to research into debilitating and life threatening human conditions. Although concerned that they didn't go far enough, the RSPCA broadly welcomed these measures. However, since then, amendments have been submitted which could seriously further weaken the proposed law.

Mr Reed said: The suffering experienced by primates trapped and taken from the wild for use in breeding programmes or experiments is completely unacceptable.

The RSPCA is urging members of the public to contact their local European Parliament representatives about this issue via its Give Animals A Voice website at


Notes to editors:

ï‚· The use of wild caught primates in experiments was banned in the UK in 1995. Primates are still routinely trapped for breeding and use in experiments in other countries. The majority of monkeys imported into the UK are the offspring of individuals taken from the wild. Given the significant suffering caused, the RSPCA is calling for an end to the capture of wild primates.

ï‚· Confining primates in the laboratory when they would normally live in a large and complex home range has a significant negative effect on their welfare. At its best, primate housing in the lab represents only a small fraction of their home range. The worst, still commonly used in many countries, is a small, barren metal box in which the animals can only take a few steps in any direction a far cry from their natural environment.

ï‚· In addition to pain and distress associated with the experiment itself, adverse effects are also caused by the capture of wild primates, breeding practices, transport, housing and husbandry, identification, restraint, and euthanasia.

ï‚· Written Declaration No 40 of the European Parliament, officially adopted in September 2007, called for the use of non-human primates to be phased out by setting up a timetable for the replacement of primate use with alternatives and for a ban on wild-caught primates and great apes. 433 European Parliamentarians supported it, which is a record number of signatures for an animal protection statement.

ï‚· The RSPCA believes it is essential that in the updated version of Directive 86/609:

1. All types of research and testing which may cause animals to suffer are covered by the legislation.

2. There is an effective authorisation (or licensing) process that considers the suitability of the facilities and the competence of people carrying out the experiments.

3. The ethical acceptability of every proposed project is rigorously evaluated. This should include the undertaking of a harm/benefit assessment that considers the lifetime experience of the animal.

4. Procedures that cause severe animal suffering should not be allowed.

5. The use of great apes is prohibited, without exception.

6. The use of wild-caught primates is not allowed.

7. The European Commission sets up a permanent working group to define and implement a strategy to phase out all primate use.

8. The European Commission includes measures that will stimulate the development, validation and promotion of alternative, non-animal methods.

RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 9RS Press office direct lines: 0300 123 0244/0288 Fax: 0303 123 0099 Duty press officer (evenings and weekends) Tel 0870 0555500 and ask for pager number 828825"


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