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Sharon champions vote to ban testing on great apes and wild-caught primates

September 2, 2010 1:00 PM

On Wednesday 8th September the European Parliament will vote on whether or not to ban scientific testing on great apes and wild-caught primates.

If passed, new laws would limit testing to macaques and marmosets which have been bred and raised in captivity.

Testing on primates raised in captivity is considered by some to be more humane as primates can acclimatise to their environment.

However, some have voiced concerns that wild-caught primates could still be used in scientific testing if a ban is not properly implemented.

Sharon Bowles, who campaigned for a ban on bear bile farming in the last parliament, said:

"Once legislation is in place, it will be very difficult for laboratories to conduct experiments on wild-caught primates as simple genetic tests can determine whether or not a primate has been raised in captivity or not.

"We would all like to live in a world where animal testing is not necessary. However, there is no substitute yet, such as a computer model or a test-tube replicant, for a functioning animal brain when it comes to research into Parkinson's, Epilepsy or Alzheimer's.

"That said, where there are more humane alternatives, I will proffer my fullest support. This proposed legislation on animal testing promotes the use of alternatives and puts a stop to testing on great apes and wild-caught primates. That is why I will be voting for it next week in Strasbourg."