Well known for his love of animals and his outspoken defence of their welfare, Ricky Gervais has recently spoken out in support of a new BUAV undercover investigation, which shows harrowing suffering of primates in an EU laboratory.

The recent undercover investigation, carried out by the BUAV and the German animal group Soko Tierschutz, at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Germany (MPI), found primates subjected to immense suffering through the use of severe water deprivation, physical coercion and restraint. The institute is now at the centre of a controversy after the findings of the investigation featured on national German Television (10/09/14).

Ricky Gervais has supported the BUAV on a great many of their previous campaigns and has spoken out passionately about the recent investigation, saying: ‘I was deeply saddened and shocked by the BUAV’s latest investigation, which shows the terrible suffering inflicted on these monkeys in an EU laboratory. I urge people to watch the compelling BUAV film and join me in calling for these experiments to end and a full independent inquiry carried out.’

The world famous comedian also tweeted news about the monkeys who suffered in the experiments, prompting others, actor Russell Crowe, to get involved and also share the investigations to his 1.57M followers.

Other high-profile stars who used their online presence to raise awareness over the monkey suffering included actors Ayden Callaghan, Carley Stenson, Sarah Jane Honeywell, Conservationist Ian Redmond, Author Jane Fallon, Journalist Wendy Turner Webster and Human Rights activist, Peter Thatchell.

The primates were used in basic research into how their brains process information. This involved the animals subjected to major surgery to implant devices in their skulls. The water deprived animals were then imprisoned by their necks inside a restraint device in a small dark, sound-proofed chamber. The monkeys were completely immobilised by a post implanted in their skulls to fix their heads in place in front of a computer screen during testing. They had to carry out repetitive tests tasks over and over for up to 5 hours a day, 5 days a week, month after month, in order to receive a small fluid reward.

Director of Special Projects Sarah Kite, BUAV stated: “Our investigation has exposed the reality for primates in a top EU laboratory. Their lives are one of immense suffering, brutally controlled and manipulated in cruel experiments. We are therefore very grateful to Ricky for using his voice and high-profile to help us raise awareness about these cruel experiments. This is an investigation that raises important ethical, scientific and legal issues which need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

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