Report Reveals Increased Demand for ‘First Generation’ Primates in British Laboratories

For Immediate Release:

16 July 2020


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 222; [email protected]

Report Reveals Increased Demand for ‘First Generation‘ Primates in British Laboratories

PETA Calls On the Government to Modernise by Moving Away From Experiments on Animals

London – Figures published by the Home Office today reveal that 3.4 million procedures were conducted on animals in Great Britain in 2019 – the lowest figure since 2007. While this is a move in the right direction, more work is urgently needed to end all experiments on animals.

Last year saw experimenters using far more “first generation” primates – animals bred in captivity from wild-caught parents – than reported in recent years. Most primates (90%) used in British laboratories are born in Africa and Asia before being shipped to the UK in cramped and gruelling conditions.

Importing primates from overseas is dangerous for both monkeys and humans. The stress of transport has been shown to compromise primates’ immune function, potentially leading to the reactivation of deadly diseases such as tuberculosis. Sickly monkeys are more likely to transmit pathogens to humans and die in transit.

“From both a scientific and an ethical point of view, tearing wild monkeys from their natural habitats for use as breeding machines is senseless and cruel,” says PETA Science Policy Manager Dr Julia Baines. “PETA urges the government to embrace reliable, human-relevant testing methods that don’t use animals.”

In response to the figures, PETA is calling on the government to adopt the group’s Research Modernisation Deal (RMD) and commit to ending all experiments on animals and redirecting resources to innovative, human-relevant methods.

The RMD provides a detailed strategy for freeing up funds for available animal-free methods, including by immediately eliminating the use of animals in areas in which they have already been shown to be poor surrogates for humans, critically reviewing other areas of research to determine where animal use can be ended, and applying a robust system for ensuring the most up-to-date, human-relevant methods are used.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on” – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit