China is poised to become a centre of primate research with the development of a world class facility. The Kunming Institute of Zoology in southwestern China has 1,400 experimental monkeys, including 300 in isolation. Drawn by low cost and the absence of animal rights groups, US and European researchers are working there and doing collaborative research. The director, Weizhi Ji, says that China has different ethical standards for animal research: “Human health is always given the first priority and there is less emphasis on animal rights.” He acknowledges that China lacks the institutional review boards which monitor how lab animals are treated in the US, but he hopes that the high standards of his institute will set the pace for other primate researchers in his country.
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