From Wisconsin Public Radio 8/30/02
An animal rights group is calling for a congressional audit of primate research labs, including the one at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The group hopes to eventually close down the labs.
Michael Budkie is the executive director of the group Stop Animal Exploitation Now. He says the government awards 250-million-dollars-a-year to the eight regional primate research centers.
He says that money is used to conduct psychological, addiction, and other experiments which yield little new scientific knowledge...
"Even if this stuff was good research ... which it isn't, and even if it was being done humanely, which it isn't, there's no justification for funding the same experiments 170 times simultaneously. What we're finding is that the primate experimentation system as a whole is filled with redundancy and duplication."
The Wisconsin Regional Primate Center at U-W has been controversial. However, a spokeswoman says a there have been number of recent scientific advances made through research there.
Last year, the center announced discovery of a new approaches to attacking the AIDS virus. The research was achieved through tests on monkeys with S-I-V, the simian equivalent of the H-I-V virus.
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