Some good news: yesterday, a motion to phase out experiments at Europe’s largest primate-testing laboratory, the Biomedical Primate Research Centre (BPRC) in Rijswijk, the Netherlands, was passed in the Dutch Parliament.
This means that the lab must reduce the number of tests it carries out on monkeys, while focusing on developing humane, non-animal testing methods. This success, which will spare many animal lives as well as encouraging scientific progress, comes after over 100,000 compassionate people all over Europe sent e-mails to Dutch politicians in support of the motion. Back in December, PETA NL took these signatures and delivered them to politicians in The Hague.
Monkeys aren’t test tubes with tails but intelligent animals who experience the same range of emotions as we do, including love and joy but also fear, despair and torment. They do not deserve to be locked in tiny cages and injected with fatal diseases. The BPRC currently imprisons around 1,300 rhesus monkeys and marmosets, keeping them locked in cages and injecting them with debilitating diseases. This isn’t just unethical – it’s also poor science. Experimenting on primates is wasteful, inefficient and unreliable.
As an MP from the Dutch Socialist Party, which introduced the mandate, said:
In recent years, a growing number of scientists have started to question the usefulness of the animal experiments. … There are more and more alternatives on the market, yet the number of animal experiments has not declined for years. It’s time for a change.
We’re delighted that The Netherlands has come one step closer to ending animal testing. Thank you to everyone who spoke out and helped make this happen!