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BUAV welcomes confirmation of a legislative ban on the use of great apes in laboratories in the UK

29/05/2012

The BUAV has welcomed confirmation from the Government that it will enforce a legislative ban on the use of great apes in laboratories in the UK. This ban is to be included in the Government's plans for incorporating the new EU directive on animal experiments into UK law. 

The new EU Directive due to be implemented by Member States next year, would have opened up the possibility, under certain circumstances, for chimps, gorillas and/or orang-utans to be used in research in the UK. In two separate initiatives, the All Party Group for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experimentation and FRAME, in collaboration with the BUAV, had asked the Government to take the opportunity to close the loophole that would be left by the Directive. After a recent meeting with the Home Office Minister, Nic Dakin, Chairman of the All Party Group, said, "I was delighted when the Minister confirmed, in the meeting with MPs, that she will ensure that a ban on the use of great apes will be included in the new UK law. This is a positive and very welcome move.

Michelle Thew, Chief Executive, BUAV, stated: "The BUAV welcomes confirmation from the Minister that the UK government will finally close this loophole and implement a legislative ban on the use of great apes. There is no ethical or scientific justification for their use in research." 

Professor Michael Balls, Chairman of the FRAME Trustees, said: "FRAME has campaigned for many years to obtain protection for these highly intelligent animals because research has shown that chimpanzees used in research suffer from severe and lasting emotional trauma. Even if this were not so, it would be logistically impossible to find enough animals and to provide acceptable conditions for their maintenance and use, in the undefinable emergency circumstances envisaged by those who have supported the inclusion of the Directive's derogation clause."