Lord Dowding Fund for humane research


National Antivisection Society

2. The Scientific Steering Committee position

12 July 2007

[SSC] ...considers that non-human primates are required in biomedical research for the following reasons:

1. to ensure safety. Many new vaccines or biologicals must be assessed for specificity and safety in a “near-human” immune system before they enter the clinic.

2. to determine the efficacy of non-human primate models for infections for which no other suitable animal models exist. These so-called “proof of principle” studies are critical in catalysing interest and development capital for development and clinical trials.

ADI Response – safety and efficacy/species differences:

There have been no systematic reviews of animal research and testing to confirm whether this methodology is providing the assurances of safety that the public expects:

Primate experiments cannot guarantee safety, and can be dangerously misleading:

The use of NHP is often justified as the ‘only’ way to conduct research into neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, which are increasing with the ageing population – people are living longer. It is estimated that the number of people with cognitive impairment in England alone, is likely to rise by 66% between 1998 and 203130.

However there is now evidence that both behavioural neuroscience and other neurological experiments on animals are fundamentally flawed due to species differences. For example:

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