The European Commission proposed a ban on laboratory use of wild-caught apes and monkeys this past November—just short of asking that primate experiments be phased out altogether.
“It is absolutely important to steer away from testing on animals,” said European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas. “Scientific research must focus on finding alternative methods to animal testing, but where alternatives are not available, the situation of animals still used in experiments must be improved.”
The proposal, which must go before the Council of Ministers to be approved, requires that “...only animals of second or older generations be used, subject to transitional periods, to avoid taking animals from the wild and exhausting wild populations.”
Today 10 percent of the monkeys in European labs are wild-caught, totaling about 1,000 individuals.