Friday, 1 January 2010

Capture of wild monkeys

Every year thousands of monkeys are torn from the wild and their families to stock breeding colonies in factory farms in Asia and Mauritius that supply European laboratories. 10,000 monkeys are used in experiments in Europe every year, most of these are born of parents snatched from the wild. Europe is therefore continuing to fuel the capture of thousands of wild macaque monkeys to stock breeding farms in Asia – a region where the species is now in widespread and rapid decline.

In addition, there are now many reliable and safe alternatives to primate vivesection. The near-fatal drugs trial of TGN1412 which led to multiple organ failure in the six humans further discredits animal testing. Primates had been given the drug, at dosages some state were 500 times higher than those given to the humans, yet the non-human primates did not suffer the same medical problems.

Significantly, a new report published by the House of Lords EU Committee in November 2009 backed proposals by the European Commission to end this horrible practice.

The European Commission, European Parliament and Council are currently in discussions on the revision of the Directive. The proposals must be kept and strengthened to ensure the very basic protection for animals e.g. all animal experiments must be justified before they start; monkeys should not be torn form the wild; animal laboratories must be regularly inspected; suffering of animals must not be prolonged. It is such a shame that such minimal protection has met with such fierce opposition from the animal experimentation industry.

Contact the following and ask them to ensure that protection is increased, and that Europe ceases to use wild-caught primates. It should be noted that in the UK animal experiments are on the increase - a worrying trend.

Kay Swinburne, MEP
Derek Vaughan, MEP
Jill Evans, MEP
John Bufton, MEP

Read more about this issue here.

On 30 December 2009 John Bufton MEP replied to CIN, saying:
"It is shocking, the EU's failure to deliver any worthwhile counterbalance to the appalling increase in animal-experiments, being created by its REACh-regulation. As we have said previously - to a great many correspondents - this was only to be expected, the humanitarian NGO's now being in the EU's pay to shut up about REACh and promote ineffective, but emotive, EU-projects, supposedly aimed at producing non-vivisectory experimental methods. A political entity, which treats people like cattle, and has rendered them incapable of selecting their own government, is not likely to regard their opinions on animal-welfare. While the UK and France remain tied to the EU, the views of our peoples will always take second place to those of big business."
On 12th January 2010 Marcus Warner, caseworker for Jill Evans MEP, said:
"We are currently obtaining the information you require and will respond in full by the end of January. Needless to say, Jill has been a tireless campaigner on animal rights and testing issues throughout her time as an MEP."
On 22nd January 2010 Derek Vaughan, MEP, said:
"Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding the above matter and the revision of EC Directive 86/609 on animal experiments.

Your concerns are shared by myself and my Labour colleagues in the European Parliament and we share your disappointment at the overall position adopted by the parliament back in May 2009. Regrettably, Labour MEPs found themselves in a minority position on this dossier and were unable to prevent the European Parliament from overwhelmingly voting to water down many of the Commission’s key animal welfare proposals.

Of particular concern is the European Parliament’s stance on diluting the requirement for prior authorisation of animal procedures, which I feel would significantly lower current levels of animal protection in the UK. I am equally concerned at the decision to put the brakes on moving European research away from its reliance on the capture of monkeys from the wild for breeding purposes.

At the moment the dossier is out of the European Parliament’s hands as it is now up to the Council of Ministers (where the 27 EU government are represented) to come forward with a position. If the Council is unable to come to an agreement with the European Parliament’s position then the dossier will come back to MEPs for a second reading, where we will get another chance to amend the legislation.

If, and when, the report comes back to the European Parliament I will certainly continue to fight for many of the important animal welfare provisions which you have mentioned in your correspondence and which I see as key to raising welfare standards across Europe.

Best Wishes.
Yours sincerely
Derek Vaughan
Member of the European Parliament (Wales)"
On 27th January 2010 Jill Evans MEP said:
"Thank you for your letter. During my ten years as an MEP, I have always
campaigned against animal cruelty and support a total ban on testing on primates. I was disappointed with the recently negotiated European legislation on animal testing. I represented my group in the discussions with the European Council, the main points of which have now been concluded.

I was particularly disappointed that the ability of Member States to introduce stricter national measures, the requirement to use available alternative methods and the need to develop a strategic approach to the development of alternatives were not implemented.

As the political agreement stands now, it is in real danger of being weaker in some aspects than the current directive, which is over twenty years old. I believe that this goes against what the public wants.

This is why that I will be recommending that my group does not sign the compromise agreement. We will also submit amendments when this report comes back to the Parliament for a final approval.

You may also be interested in the following report:"

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