Your tax dollars – used for cruel primate experiments

Humane Research Australia is concerned that Australian Government funding is being allocated to researchers who use primates in their experiments. Government funding of animal cruelty and exploitation is unnecessary and no longer has a place in a modern, enlightened society. 

The Results of the 2016 NHMRC Grant Application Round were published on the NHMRC website late last year. It states, “To date, the 2016 NHMRC Grant Application Round has resulted in the commitment of more than $828 million to fund health and medical research including 1056 new grants to universities, medical research institutions and hospitals across Australia.” 

Amongst the summary of results, two applications for Monash University and two for University of Melbourne were identified as potentially involving primates, receiving over $2.3 million between them. Details of the grants awarded are currently embargoed, but can be easily accessed on their datasheet and conducting a search for the word “primate”. 

https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/file/grants/apply/1.summary_of_results_2016_app_round_170204.xlsx 

To obtain further information about this research, HRA submitted FOI applications to each of the universities seeking copies of the NHMRC grant application and the Animal Ethics Committee application for three of the protocols identified (believed to involve invasive research). 

The University of Melbourne advised that “an Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) application does not exist for application ID ****" (which related to HIV research). And that they are unable to release the application documents due to them relating to trade secrets that “contain material commercially sensitive to the University”. 

Monash University also advised that “there are no animal ethics committee applications for these grant applications at this time.”[Considering that the funding for these protocols has already been approved by the NHMRC, this reinforces our concern that AEC members will be unduly pressured to approve protocols in order for their institutions to receive the funding.] Monash did however, release copies of the two NHMRC applications requested with sensitive data redacted. They reveal: 

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