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Draft Principles and guidelines for the care and use of non-human primates for scientific purposes submission

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Option 1 - Online comments
I am opposed to the use of highly cognitive animals in research that purports to advance medical progress for humans and strongly feel that such research should be replaced with methods that are more humane and relevant to the species it is intended to benefit. http://www.banprimateexperiments.org.au/ban-primate-experiments/
General comments on section/paragraph of the draft NHP Guidelines: 
Part A - Supporting the wellbeing of non-human primates

Primates are genetically the closest living creatures to humans. Their sentient ability is thought to be very similar to ours as primates have complex social interactions. They have the ability to form and remember relationships, remember behaviours, mirror tasks, and even make predictions about future interactions. Like humans, primates have a communicative language, they use gestures, facial expressions and body language to interact with one another and their cognitive ability has been argued to rival that of a young child.

It is these sentient, genetic and cognitive similarities to humans which see primates used as models for scientific testing. However, by this same logic, it is exactly these characteristics which show that primates have the ability to suffer both physical and psychological pain. Considering the similarities that humans and primates share, it is unethical to continue testing on them.


Part A - Applying Replacement, Reduction and Refinement (the 3Rs) at all stages

The development of several international centres and university departments for the furtherance of non-animal alternatives in scientific testing around the world shows that there is interest in this option. The Fund for the Replacement of Animals In Medical Experiments in the United Kingdom has examined non primate alternatives in five areas of medical research: malaria, AIDS, cognition, HCV, and stroke.

Research on non-animal testing alternatives for these diseases has created a positive trajectory for the development of non-primate alternatives, should they be given the resources. Australia needs to step up to the mark and become a leader in this area - not continue with archaic and unethical research on primates.


Part A - Supporting the wellbeing of non-human primates

"Monkeys are very poorly representative of human biology and diseases, including crucial research areas such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and many others. They continue to be used in experiments due to their superficial similarity to humans, but it is increasingly clear that countless and important genetic differences exist, which combine to generate vastly different biologies, disease susceptibilities and pathologies. Monkey experiments are therefore inherently misleading, and can never reliably inform human medicine. The sooner science leaves them behind, the better - not just for monkeys, but also for billions of people relying on science for cures and treatments for diseases that blight their lives."

- Jarrod Bailey, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist, BUAV

Part A - Avoiding or minimising harm, including pain and distress

It is time for Australia to enter the 21st century and develop humane and ethical methods of testing, moving away from archaic practices such as animal testing.

Page reviewed: 16 September, 2016