Thursday, September 6, 2007

EU to world: "The use of primates in experiments is not acceptable."

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
2004-2009
23.4.2007 0040/2007

WRITTEN DECLARATION

pursuant to Rule 116 of the Rules of Procedure

by Jens Holm, Rebecca Harms, John Bowis, Martine Roure and Mojca DrĨar Murko

Written declaration on primates in scientific experiments

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 humanbased 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 the Council, the Commission and the Member States.

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