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Oppose Research on Nonhuman Primates

Oppose Research on Nonhuman Primates 

Name: Oppose Increased Use of Nonhuman Primates for Experimentation and Testing

NAVS has taken note of a disturbing trend—that experimentation on nonhuman primates (NHPs) is on the rise. The number of nonhuman primates used in research has increased over 30% in just the last few years, and their use is at an all-time high.

NAVS opposes the use of nonhuman primates—and all animals—in scientific research, for both ethical and scientific reasons. Not only is animal experimentation a cruel practice, but it can also produce misleading results which sidetrack meaningful scientific progress.

NAVS’ Executive Director Kenneth Kandaras contacted the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director, Dr. Francis Collins, to express concern and to ask the NIH to provide more specific incentives and/or funding priorities to encourage scientists to develop more sophisticated, human-relevant models to replace animal use. 

Last week, we received a disappointing reply from Dr. Carrie Wolinetz, from the NIH Office of Science Policy.  She stated that “the rise in the use of certain NHPs is not surprising and represents both the state of the science and the importance of NHPs in research.” 

In her response, Dr. Wolinetz also attempted to demonstrate the NIH’s commitment to ethical considerations by pointing to a 2016 workshop held at the request of Congress. This workshop was intended to address the bioethics on the part of the NIH regarding nonhuman primate research.  However, the workshop only served to illustrate the NIH’s lack of genuine commitment to bioethics as not one of the presentations at the day-long workshop was allotted to a bioethicist.

The NIH needs to hear from you that this is an important issue to U.S. taxpayers who do not want their tax dollars funding experiments on nonhuman primates. Primates are thinking, feeling creatures who display emotions like humans—they should not be used as disposable research tools in the laboratory.  

Researchers are making claims about the “necessity” of nonhuman primate research without sufficient scientific and ethical justification. When such criteria were established for chimpanzees, this ultimately led to the animals no longer being used in biomedical research.

We appreciate your assistance with this urgent matter.

 

Call to Actions:

  1. Please let Dr. Wolinetz know that clear criteria regarding the use of nonhuman primates in research needs to be established.
  2. Spread the word! Share this page with your social network.

 

Recipients

  • Dr. Carrie Wolinetz, Associate Director for Science Policy

Contact

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Message

Please encourage scientists to use non-animal models for disease instead of nonhuman primates

Dear [Decision Maker],

It is with great dismay that I learned that the use of nonhuman primates for research is on the rise. As a taxpayer and an animal advocate, I object to the continued and unchecked use of these animals instead of spending resources on the development of non-animal models for research that would be more ethical and more relevant to human health.

While some researchers claim that it is "necessary" to use nonhuman primates for research, their claims are not supported by sufficient scientific and ethical justification. When such criteria were established for chimpanzees, this ultimately led to the animals no longer being used in biomedical research.

The criteria for chimpanzees was developed as a result of a workshop that delved into the ethical issues of using intelligent primates for research and investigating whether it was actually necessary to use these animals for research at all. The 2016 workshop that purported to give the same type of scrutiny to the ethics of using other nonhuman primates did nothing to address the bioethics of nonhuman primate research and not a single bioethicist was on a panel during a day-long workshop on this issue.

Primates are thinking, feeling creatures who display emotions like humans--they should not be used as disposable research tools in the laboratory.

Please revisit the issue of ethical considerations for using nonhuman primates, relying on actual ethical considerations instead of justifications by researchers for the choice they made in relying on a non-human model for their research.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]