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National Antivisection Society

Celebrities go ape for International Primate Day

Posted: 18 August 2006

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Celebrities are lining up to support Animal Defenders International’s (ADI) annual awareness day, International Primate Day (IPD), which will take place on Friday, 1st September, 2006. This year’s event will herald a new drive for an end to the use of primates in research and call for a unilateral ban across Europe and in the USA.
With the European Union’s regulations on animal research under review, there is the prospect of a primate research ban on the table. ADI is building on the support for the call to ban the use of primates in research as part of their ‘My Mate’s a Primate’ Campaign, launched last year by TV star Alexei Sayle.

Jan Creamer, chief executive of ADI, celebrating her 20th anniversary in the post, said: “Our ‘My Mate’s A Primate’ campaign focused on the distress and inhumane treatment of primates used in research, as they are caged and chained and kept in the bleakest conditions before being subjected to horrendous experiments. Many die in transportation on the way to laboratories, others are bred merely to supply research and yet, they suffer pain and anguish in much the same way as humans do.”

Celebrity support

Twiggy, Carol Royle, Jenny Seagrove, Stella McCartney, Uri Geller, David Nielson (Coronation Street), Lynsey de Paul, Hayley Mills and Chrissie Hynde have all given their support to International Primate Day:

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Twiggy

“On September the 1st, this year 2006, it is going to be International Primate Day which is a day to make everyone aware and to try and stop this testing on monkeys and primates and we want everyone to join in and do their damnedest to stop this - it is totally unnecessary in this day in age, it has been proved over and over again – it shouldn’t be done, hopefully the government will do something about it one day….. but we need your voices, we need your complaints, write to your MPs, write to the Government, write to Tony Blair, maybe he will do something about it – please”

Carol Royle

“I abhor it completely and utterly. It is quite inconceivable that people in the scientific world can be so bright and so full of potential yet so obtuse. When you think that some primates are closer to us genetically that some differing species of mice are to each other – isn’t it extraordinary to say that they are enough like us to vivisect but not enough like us to respect and not to abuse. The fact that there is a new wing at Oxford University which is specifically to do with primate vivisection is abhorrent to me and the fact the six unfortunate people recently had such a devastating conclusion to a drugs trial, and yet still the powers that be cannot see that we only get vague guidelines relating specifically to what that species reactions are and not to what humans reactions are.”

Jenny Seagrove

“It is International Primate Day on 1st September and what is so shocking is that the UK is the biggest user of primates in experiments. For a start these animals – some of them - have 98% of human DNA, you wouldn’t use your child in a lab experiment, you just wouldn’t do it, so why use something that is so very close to us. If you go further down the primate scale they are still very, very close to us but why use them because the results coming off of them are going to be different from those got on humans beings and there are other means of testing. New technology has been discovered using micro dosing of drugs that can be used instead of animals and primates…It is absolute insanity and a disgrace that in this 21st century we are using primates for animal experiments. I am personally ashamed of our continuing to do this.”

Stella McCartney

“These experiments are sick!! How do they come up with them! Let’s hope these scientists don’t come back as a monkey!”.

Uri Geller

“I am against any experiments on any animal whether they are primates or rabbits or mice or so forth. You are talking about a thinking animal that looks in to your eyes and you can read their minds, dolphins talk, as do whales so who are we to say that mice do not have a language between them. So any experiment on animals I am against I think there are many other methods that will save lives and we do not have a right to kill animals”

David Neilson, actor who plays Roy Cropper in Coronation Street:

“I have always felt strongly that no primates should be used for experiments, and that furthermore the higher primates should have their own international bill of rights to protect both their vulnerability and their own very special interests. I urge everyone to support International Primate Day in whatever way they can. Primates are our closest relatives so experience emotions very close to our own. In my view this makes their use in laboratory experiments completely unacceptable. We all have a duty of care towards these very special animals.”

Lynsey de Paul, popstar, singer songwriter

“I wish to add my name in loud protest to the unnecessary, questionably scientific and morally insupportable use of non-human primates in medical experimentation. Neither science nor mankind’s advancement is reliant on or furthered by cruelty. History has proven that there are alternative means of scientific research and these methods must be our first and, in fact, our only choice. Inhumanity for the sake of humanity is unacceptable and abhorrent.”

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Hayley Mills

“Good Luck for International Primate Day, September 1st 2006 – You’re doing a wonderful job”.

Chrissie Hynde

“I believe (as is explained in Vedic literature) that primates are an extension of the human family. Testing on them or harming them in any way is no different than abusing one’s fellow man.”

International Primate Day
Events are confirmed for the UK, Portugal, Ireland and USA with more details to follow.

For further information and high res celebrity photos, please contact ADI Press Office:

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NOTES TO EDITORS

  • International Primate Day was inaugurated in 2005 by ADI with a Primate Picnic in the Park with Meg Matthews, Donna Air and their daughters and actor Peter Polycarpou (EastEnders actor).
  • The My Mate’s a Primate campaign alerted the world to the four main threats to our closest relatives in the animal kingdom – the bushmeat trade, laboratory animal trade, pet trade, and use of primates for entertainment. (See http://www.mymatesaprimate.org )
  • The UK has become Europe’s largest user of laboratory monkeys with around 3,120 non-primates used in 2004. The USA, where ADI is also staging events, is the world’s biggest user of laboratory primates but globally, an estimated 1.7 million primates are used in experiments each year.
  • Scientific reports show that animal experiments produce misleading results and can actually hold up medical progress. They are flawed because of the anatomical and physiological differences between species, which makes them unreliable as a predictor of likely human effects.
  • Opinion polls have confirmed that 90% of the public would like to see more funding of non-animal alternatives.
  • Home Office Statistics (on animal testing) for 2005 - main points

1) The number of experiments carried out in 2005 used 2.81 million animals, 34,200 more than in 2004. and the highest since 1992. That includes a total 12,800 dogs, cats and 3,120 non human primates, up 12% on the year before.

2) Many more of these were Old World Monkeys, characterised among other things by their high intelligence. There was a 17% rise in the use of such monkeys as opposed to New World Monkeys.

3) 60% of the animals used received no anaesthetic whatsoever.

4) The animals required for around 470,000 separate experiments were acquired from outside the UK.

5) 73% of all the non-human primates used in experiments in 2005 came from sources outside the UK

6) 288,100, or about 10%, of all the animals used in 2005 had been purposely bred to develop harmful genetic mutations – 20,000 more than the previous year.

7) The number of experiments using so-called ‘schedule 2’ listed animals (including cats, dogs, and non-human primates) that had been obtained from outside the EU, rose by 1,800 compared with 2004.

8) Over 400,000 of the experiments were toxicity tests.

9) 13% per cent of all tests in 2005 did not conform to legal or regulatory requirements.

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