Joanna Lumley and Jane Goodall Join Animal Justice Project and PETA in Speaking Out Against Primate Testing

For Immediate Release:

22 April 2016


Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 235; [email protected]


Celebrities and More Than 60,000 Kind People Call for an End to Karolinska Institutet’s Testing on Primates in Sweden

London – This afternoon, ahead of World Week for Animals in Laboratories (23–30 April), Animal Justice Project and PETA delivered an open letter signed by high-profile celebrities –including Joanna Lumley, Jane Goodall, Moby and Peter Egan – to the Swedish ambassador to the UK along with a petition with over 60,000 signatures. As part of an ongoing campaign with Swedish animal rights group Djurrättsalliansen, the groups are calling for an end to the import and use of primates for research at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.

Karolinska is the last institution in Sweden that still conducts cruel experiments on primates. It recently imported 24 macaque monkeys from the United States in order to carry out a series of invasive procedures.

A photo of the petition submission is available here.

“Kind people everywhere are opposed to testing on primates”, says PETA Director Mimi Bekhechi. “PETA and Animal Justice Project are calling on Sweden and the Karolinska Institutet to listen to the public and stop these archaic and ineffective experiments.”

During the experiments, the monkeys will be locked away in laboratory cages and subjected to traumatic and invasive procedures. For five years, they will be denied the opportunity to climb, forage, socialise or play as they would in the wild. They’ll repeatedly receive vaccinations and have blood samples taken up to 25 times a year.
Yet multiple studies that have found that primates are not good “models” for studying human diseases. Scientists have found effective alternative methods of developing vaccines – for example, using studies of human populations and the human immune system, such as the Modular Immune In vitro Construct (MIMIC) system which is being used by the US government to develop a vaccine for Ebola.

“Whilst we are against all animal experiments, primate experiments are particularly unpopular – as is clear by our celebrity and public support on this campaign,” says Animal Justice Project international director Claire Palmer. “We urge Sweden to immediately end to the import and use of primates for research; and to spare the twenty-four rhesus monkeys who are earmarked for cruel and futile research”.

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