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MEP photocall in support of primates

Posted: 24 April 2007

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MEPs showed their primate colours today outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg, putting their faces to primate bodies in a light-hearted launch for a ground-breaking campaign for an end to the use of Great Apes and wild-caught primates in research.

MEPs Jens Holm, John Bowis, Dr Caroline Lucas, Liz Lynne, and Moja Drcar Murko launched their Written Declaration 40/2007 under the banner “Ich bin ein Primat” (I am a primate), which acknowledges our closeness to our primate cousins.

Most species of primate share more than 90% of human DNA and are intelligent, have close social bonds and culture, use tools and display a similar range of emotions to humans.

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The Written Declaration will be formally launched at a meeting in the Strasbourg Parliament this afternoon, marking the start of a major shift in European attitudes to the use of primates in research.

The European Commission’s recent survey found that a staggering 80% of Europeans consider the use of primates in experiments as “not acceptable”.

NAVS Chief Executive Jan Creamer said today: “This Declaration is a huge step forward to protect the primate nations. The laboratory animal trade is one of the four great threats to the survival of our fellow primates and we are delighted that the European Parliament is moving towards making a stand to protect them”.

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NOTES TO EDITORS

Written declaration on primates in scientific experiments 40/2007
Objective:
The new Declaration urges the Commission, the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament to use their vision process of Directive 86/609/EC as an opportunity prioritise ending the use of apes and wild caught monkeys in scientific experiments and establish a timetable for replacing the use of all primates in scientific experiments with alternatives.
Sponsored by MEPs Jens Holm, Rebecca Harms, John Bowis, Martine Roure and Mojca Drčar Murko .
Lapse date: 6.9.2007
Content: The European Parliament, having regard to Rule 116 of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas more than 80% of respondents to the 2006 Commission’s public consultation on animals in experiments considered the use of primates in experiments as not acceptable,
B.whereas more than 10 000 primates are used in experiments every year in EU laboratories,
C.noting that almost all primate species share more than 90% of their DNA with humans and it is acknowledged that the primate species have a capacity to suffer greatly in captivity,
D.whereas 26% of primate species are in danger of extinction and wild-caught primates continue to be used in laboratories, in addition it may be difficult to protect primates from threats such as human consumption if it is perceived that these species are used freely by Western academic institutions,
E.whereas advanced technology and techniques now provide alternative methods that are proving to be more efficient and reliable than primate experiments, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), microdosing, computer modelling or tissue and cell culture,
F.noting that despite genetic similarities, there are important differences between humans and other primates, and primate experiments cannot match the precision of human-based study,

1.Urges the Commission, the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament to use the revision process of Directive 86/609/EC as an opportunity to:
(a)make ending the use of apes and wild-caught monkeys in scientific experiments an urgent priority,
(b)establish a timetable for replacing the use of all primates in scientific experiments with alternatives;

2.Instructs its President to forward this declaration, together with the names of the signatories, to theCouncil, the Commission and the Member States.

Written Declaration 64 to end primate experiments in January 07 was supported by 88 MEPs.

Unprecedented number of MEPs back call to end experiments on monkeys and apes across Europe

Click here for the Berlin Declaration

World Day for Lab Animals, 24 April 2007

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