UK Home Office Has 'No Plans' To Stop Using Monkeys In Experiments

Campaigners say the use of primates serves little value and causes immense suffering
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A monkey in a cage

Campaigners want to stop tests on primates (Photo: Licensed from Adobe. Do not use without permission)

Animal welfare campaigners say they are 'bitterly disappointed' that the Home Office has no plans to stop using primates in research.

According to Cruelty Free International, the Home Office revealed that there is no strategy in place to phase out the tests while answering parliamentary questions last week.

DUP MP Sammy Wilson if the Government was taking steps to reduce the use of primates in laboratories. Minister of State for Security at the Home Office, Ben Wallace, said that monkeys are 'only used when necessary' and that 'suffering was kept to a minimum'.

Animal suffering

But Cruelty Free International says its 2016 study shows that 'cruel experiments on monkeys’ brains are flawed and serve very little value'.

"Our paper found that data collected from monkeys used in neuroscience research is misleading and of poor relevance to people," the organization said. "This is due to the many important differences between monkeys and humans in brain structure and function.

"We also uncovered shocking evidence of physical deprivation, coercion and stress caused to primates used in research. During experiments monkeys are restrained for hours on end, deprived of water and subjected to highly invasive brain surgery."

scientist in a lab

Advocates want to see alternatives to animal testing used

'Bitterly disappointed'

"We are bitterly disappointed that the Government point blank refuses to address the cruel and unnecessary use of monkeys in tests, especially since we have offered to work together to bring about change," Dr. Katy Taylor, Director of Science at Cruelty Free International, said in a statement.

"Morally and scientifically it is time for the use of monkeys in experiments to end.

"We call on the Home Office, who fund and license these experiments, to finally put in place a plan to stop this needless suffering."