So does the testing of biomedical or pharmaceutical compounds on primates really advance medicine? It's a controversial question, with some arguing that the use of so-called "non-human primates" is vital to biomedical research. But an undercover report by Animal Defenders International (ADI) shows how primate research is linked to questionable practices of the international primate trade, while also suggesting that animal testing can be a poor indicator of human responses. We only have to look to recent events to find that this can be true - with tragic consequences.The video draws on the recent trials of the TGN-1412 drug as an example, where healthy human volunteers suffered multiple organ failures, coma and possible loss of fingers and toes after being given miniscule amounts of a drug that showed no ill side-effects on animal and primate test subjects.
Let's face it — primates are in peril. A quarter of all primate species are endangered and the surviving members of the top 25 of these threatened species could all fit in a single football stadium. Primate testing is only one part of the threat - other major factors include the international primate pet trade, killing of primates for bushmeat, and habitat destruction.
In the face of all this and the fact that if even great apes have human rights, we need to ask: why are governments and companies still complicitly involved in the capture, confinement, breeding and use of nasty tests on our closest relatives in the animal kingdom? These little guys never got to sign an informed consent waiver.
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