Unbeknown to the general public and hidden away in Australian research laboratories, primates are being used in a variety of biomedical experiments. They are subjected to a wide range of procedures including brain/vision research, HIV/AIDS research and heart research.
These primates – macaques, marmosets and baboons – are sourced from three government-funded breeding colonies, where they are bred specifically for research purposes.
There are sound ethical and scientific arguments against the use of primates for human health research.
“Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals and the answer is: ‘Because animals are like us.’
“Ask the experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is: ‘Because the animals are not like us.’
“Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction.”
—Prof. Charles R. Magel
Contrary to this argument however, the physical differences between humans and other primates suggests that they are inappropriate models for human disease, and the similarities mean that we should afford them ethical consideration and not regard them as mere tools for research.
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