There is a dangerous push in Australia to breed more nonhuman primates for animal experimentation than ever before in history due to perceived successes in the field of genetics in this country.
Hundreds of monkeys will be bred in the near future for medical experiments at a farm in Churchill, Victoria. These monkeys will be bred to order and sold for research, which will include testing an HIV vaccine, and studying Parkinsons disease, strokes and Alzheimers disease.
What is not mentioned however is how vivisectors induce a stroke or Alzheimers or "Parkinson " into their hapless victims -- the monkeys. This is done through brain-damaging the individual.
Take Alzheimer disease (AD) for example. This condition causes confusion, memory loss and dementia in millions of elderly people The cause remains unknown and there is no effective treatment. In the brains of AD patients an abnormal build-up of proteins occurs, in the form of plaques and tangles. No one knows if these protein deposits are a cause or a result of the disease.
Eventually the brain cells start to die, the brain shrinks and there is a loss of mental abilities with increasing age.
No animals suffer from AD in the way humans do, yet many animals have been consumed in a attempt to find that perfect laboratory "model." Macaque monkeys develop protein deposits in the brain as they age, but they do not suffer from the severe form of disease seen in humans. In any case, monkeys in the natural would live beyond 30 years of age, and that means to a vivisector that it is generally too expensive to keep them in laboratories for that amount of time. "Blind Freddie" would know that to brain damage a monkey to study Alzheime disease is bogus. AD is an aging, slow, chronic degenerative disease. Brain damage is not.
There are so many more examples but due to lack of space l cite only one more. For over 20 years chimpanzees and monkeys have been used for AIDS research and what has been yielded? Rich primate researchers and dead-ends, that what! Never before in the history of disease research have in vitro methodologies and the tools of modern molecular biology played such important roles in the case of the AIDS epidemic. It is irrefutable that the overwhelming body of knowledge we have accumulated on AIDS has come from the cooperation utilising epidemiological, in vitro, and clinical research together. Nonhuman primates can't get fully blown AIDS. Only humans do. Nonhuman primates get a monkey virus called Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) but as AIDS vaccine researcher Dani P. Bolognesi notes,
No animal models faithfully reproduce human immunodeficency virus type-1 (HIV-1) infection and disease in humans, and the studies of experimental vaccines in animal models of disease caused by lentiviruses have yielded disparate results, making it difficult to determine what is required for a successful HIV-1 vaccine?
So Animal Defenders is an Australian AR group who are strenuously opposing plans by the National Health and Medical Research Council who gave this $5 million dollar grant away to fund a breeding and research centre.
Professor Stephen Harrap, head of the committee that manages the Melbourne University macaque colony and will be on the committee that will oversee this new centre is quoted as saying that research monkeys are treated with respect. "We treat them as very precious creatures," he said. Not precious enough to spare their lives Prof. Harrap!!
[NB a phone call to Melbourne University on the 5th of August has revealed Prof Harrap is not on any new committee to oversee the new "Monkey farm" centre for keeping monkeys which is apparently an extension of an existing centre where monkeys are kept in captivity. Apparently the make up of the new committee has not been discussed yet].
The statement by chairwoman Elizabeth Grant from NHMRC that "there is a lot of traumatic stuff that animals are used for but they can only be used for one experiment" is sickening. The mentality which assumes that other species are facilities placed here for our use and that their lives only matter in that context, is exactly the same thinking which relegated the slavery and the black races for so long as an inferior status. Now we have come to see Racism for what it is misguided prejudice, fuelled by self-interest and with no logical basis whatsoever. Its time to take a good hard look at its sister concept Speciesism.
We are asking you to e-mail or write your protest today.
Professor Stephen Harrap,
Head of the Department of Physiology
North Wing Medical Centre,
University of Melbourne
Corner of Royal Parade and Grattan St,
Ph: 03 8344 5837 Fax: 03 8344 5818
International Fax +61 3 8344 5818
Let the Professor know that we are opposed to quarkery in all its forms and
to step out of the Dark Ages into the modern techno age where alternatives
lie and a more enlightened attitude will prevail for those that share the
earth with us.
Paste and copy to:
Senator Kay Patterson,
Federal Minister for Health
270 Clayton Road,
Tel: 03 9544 7411 Fax: 03 9544 5535
International fax +61 3 9544 5535
Politicians are servants of the people. Dont be intimidated by them. Tell the Minister that you dont want your tax dollars being spent on killing innocent monkeys.
And finally Mr Stephen Marshall will head this new centre. Hes been quoted as saying "If we didnt have to use monkeys, wed do away with animals in laboratories tomorrow.
Demand that Stephen Marshall does just this as there
are plenty of alternatives available.
Mr Stephen Marshall,
PO Box 40,
Tel: 03 9905 4872 Fax: 03 9905 5736
International fax +61 3 9905 5736
[NB: This is a campaign also being stepped up by some Australians to work against the increased breeding of monkeys (macaques, mamosets and baboons) in Australia for research.
In essence it started when the Melbourne University -based macaque NH&MRC national breeding facility really had to upgrade facilities (only ocassional outside access etc) and they got money to move and add facilities at Monash University's Churchill (Gippsland) campaus where the ex-Adealide CSIRO mamoset colony is already being housed. The concern is not the new facility - it will be better for the monkeys than the current one - but that they do apparently plan to breed more now, and so use more for research.]
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