National Primate Freedom Week
Primate experimentation is one of the most controversial issues faced by our movement. Every year over 60,000 primates undergo experimentation in U.S. labs. As many as another 40,000 animals are imprisoned to breed primates for laboratory use. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the federal agency that funds the majority of animal experiments, authorized 1457 primate projects in fiscal 2001. This is an increase of over 62% from the 1992 total of 896 projects.
Many different species suffer in various forms of experimentation. The three most commonly used species are rhesus monkeys, squirrel monkeys, and baboons. These three species accounted for over 89% of the experiments funded by the NIH. These animals are subjected to experiments in drug addiction, brain mapping, maternal deprivation, and many other highly invasive procedures.
Other species used in NIH funded experiments include chimpanzees, lemurs, gorillas, orangutans, aotus monkeys, and cebus monkeys.
Captivity is extremely stressful for primates, especially isolation. Stress, confinement, and other conditions often lead to illness in laboratory-confined primates. These diseases include pneumonia, enteritis, hepatitis, peritonitis, encephalitis, gastric bloat, etc. Many of these conditions are fatal.
As a movement we must insure that the public does not forget the plight of the tens of thousands of primates that are currently imprisoned in laboratories. It is our duty to fight for the rights of these innocent animals, our closest genetic relatives. Each primate is an individual capable of thought, communication, and (in the hands of “scientists”) intense suffering.
The first National Primate Freedom Week is currently planned for this fall from August 24th through September 2nd. Join in this crucial campaign by organizing events in your area. Please contact SAEN for information, materials, and support. We can provide fact sheets, reports, media support, and other resources. SAEN can be reached at 513-575-5517 or [email protected].att.net
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