Humane Research Australia has unveiled damning information about the unexpected deaths of primates bred for research in Gippsland.
It has been claimed that primates used in Australian research are kept in world class facilities:
“The welfare of every animal is continuously monitored and recorded. The outstanding facilities provided to support animal research in Australia are governed by individual state and territory legislation, ensuring the highest standards.”1
Yet, according to information obtained by Humane Research Australia through Freedom of Information enquiries, over the past three years:
- A female macaque aged twelve years (and known as NF27) was found in a barrel outside dead in a pool of blood. Blood was also scattered around cage. The postmortem revealed a single penetrative wound half-way down the back which appeared to be inflicted by canine teeth from the male.
- A female macaque aged ten years (and known as NF68) was found in her cage barely able to move. Staff attempted to recover her with fluids and warmth but she died about 1.5 hours later.
- A female marmoset aged ten years (and known as CJF602) was found listless and bleeding from her bowel. After being treated and placed in a humidicrib she began gasping for breath and died. CJF602 was a female “breeder” recently imported from France.
- A male marmoset aged 8 years (and known as CJM814) was found listless with shallow breathing and vomiting clear foamy liquid. The vet was called for treatment but the marmoset died 30 minutes later. CJM814 was a male “breeder” recently imported from France.
Humane Research Australia CEO, Helen Marston: “Are these the ‘highest standards’ we can expect from ‘outstanding facilities’?”
“These incidents occurred at Monash University’s National Non-Human Primate Breeding and Research Facility in Gippsland. They do not even include the procedures that primates are subjected to during their use in experiments – procedures which have been approved by an animal ethics committee and include inducing brain lesions in baby and infecting macaques with SIV – and are most often funded by taxpayers through the National Health & Medical Research Council.”
Humane Research Australia is calling on all Australians to sign and share their petition to the Australian government, asking them to ban the use of non-human primates in medical and scientific research in Australia.
“Not only is this a cruel and unethical industry, it is a huge waste of precious resources – funding and time that would be better spent on research methods that are applicable to humans – not a pseudo-model of a human that is more likely to lead to erroneous data” Ms Marston concluded.
1 James Bourne, The Guardian, 1st March 2016.