Joanna Lumley, Moby, Peter Egan and world-renowned primatologist, Jane Goodall lead a 40,000-strong call for mercy for twenty four monkeys facing experiments in Scandinavia’s last primate research laboratory.

Thirty three celebrities and eminent scientists including Joanna Lumley, Moby, Peter Egan, Alexei Sayle and world-renowned primatologist Jane Goodall, have joined Animal Justice Project and Djurrättsalliansen in leading a call for mercy for twenty four monkeys facing experiments in Scandinavia. Thousands of people have signed a petition calling on the Karolinska Institute to end horrific and unreliable animal experiments and release the monkeys from Astrid Fagraeus Laboratory in Sweden where they are currently being held.

The twenty four rhesus macaques were flown from primate breeder, PreLabs, in the United States for a malaria study. Research which, according to Animal Justice Project’s Science Advisor, Dr. Andre Menache, is of poor relevance to humans, and may even be illegal according to EU legislation set down in Directive 2010/63/EU which states that it is ‘essential, both on moral and scientific grounds, to ensure that each use of an animal is carefully evaluated as to the scientific or educational validity, usefulness and relevance of the expected result of that use’.

The experiments are being challenged as contravening EU law because:

• On the basis of current science, including genetics and evolutionary biology, the monkey ‘model’ is not reliable or relevant for the study of human disease
• On the basis of current science, the likely harm to the monkeys far outweighs the hypothetical benefits to human medical progress (0.004%)
• Macaque monkeys are largely immune to the common form of human malaria
• Non-animal methods, including MIMIC and VACCINOMICS are available today and are relevant to the development of human vaccines

The celebrities, several key primatologists and the two organisations are also opposed to the research on ethical grounds. The twenty four monkeys would have endured gruelling journeys before reaching quarantine in Sweden. They may be housed in cages only two meters high, and four cubic metres and official documentation obtained by the organisations reveal that two of the twenty four monkeys have already suffered prolapses, and endured a series of blood tests. Rectal prolapses are acknowledged to be indicative of gross stress in non-human primates within the laboratory setting, particularly as a result of restraint for procedures such as blood sampling. Prolapses have also been documented as being a cause of death during shipping and quarantine.

Animal Justice Project International Director, Claire Palmer states: “Whilst we are against all animal experiments, primate experiments are particularly unpopular – as is clear by our celebrity and public support on this campaign. Animal Justice Project urges Sweden to immediately end to the import and use of primates for research; and to spare the twenty four rhesus monkeys who are earmarked for cruel and futile research”.

Animal Justice Project is an international organisation based in the UK and United States working to raise awareness on the plight of animals in laboratories around the globe.

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