A large majority of members of the European Parliament have called for an end to experimentation on great apes. Their resolution is not legally binding, but must be taken into account when legislation is drafted in the European Commission. Animal rights activists claim that more than 10,000 primates are used in experiments in Europe every year. The UK is said to be Europe’s largest single user, followed by France and Germany.
Animal rights campaigners were jubilant after their intense lobbying efforts proved victorious. The CEO of Animal Defenders International, Jan Creamer, said: “This Declaration recognises that primates are our closest relatives, with chimpanzees sharing 98% of our DNA -? like us, they have forms of language, culture, and live in family groups.” And British MEP John Bowis, a health minister in the Major government, commented: “experiments on primates are both unethical and inefficient and can and should be replaced with more advanced scientific techniques”.
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