NHMRC Public Consultations

Skip Navigation and go to Content
Visit NHMRC website

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

ID: 
36
Personal Details
First Name: 
Jan
Last Name: 
Heald
Option 1 - Online comments
SPECIFIC ISSUE FOR PUBLIC CONSULTATION - NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS TO THE ANIMAL WELFARE COMMITTEE: 
I oppose the use of highly cognitive animals in research that purports to advance medical progress for humans and that such research should be replaced with methods that are more humane and relevant to the species it is intended to benefit.
General comments on section/paragraph of the draft NHP Guidelines: 
Part A - Using non-human primates only when justified

I submit to the complete ban of the use of any non-human primates. If NHMRC can mandate this for great apes then you should do so for all non-human primates. Considering there is little difference between great apes and other primates in their capacity to suffer, their cognitive abilities and well-developed social structures, the protections afforded for great apes should be extended to all other primates. The fear and terror these animals exhibit is palpable and we, as the human race, have no right to inflict this physical and mental pain and suffering on these innocent, easily exploited sentient animals.

NHMRC acknowledges that “The complex and highly social behaviour and advanced cognitive capacity of many non-human primates make it difficult to adequately provide for their needs in a captive environment research setting.” Well stop using and exploiting them then!

At the conclusion of their use NHMRC state “Retirement must be considered as an option if suitable in terms of the health and temperament of the animal, and space is available at a facility that can meet their specific physical, social and behavioural needs.” Currently, there is NO sanctuary for retired lab animals.  If the use of primates has been funded by the NHMRC then the NHMRC and/or research institution must take responsibility to ensure that the wellbeing of these animals is guaranteed for the remainder of their natural lives. These animals deserve a dignified retirement in return for their suffering.

I don't believe there can be ANY argument in favour of being able to use an individual of a non human species for experimentation. They cannot give consent. They cannot voice their objection. They are NOT the species that the experiment is designed for.

I oppose the use of highly cognitive animals in research that purports to advance medical progress for humans and that such research should be replaced with methods that are more humane and relevant to the species it is intended to benefit.

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

Long distance transportation of these animals causes further suffering adding to what they will endure in Australian research labs. Furthermore, despite the requirements that imported animals must be captive-bred, it cannot be guaranteed that they will not be derived from wild stock, resulting in broken family and social groups, and the extreme stress of capture. Monetary profit is the driver in sourcing these animals to provide to laboratories. How can NHMRC ensure this would be sustainable and not lead to species depletion and ulimately local extinctions of a species? Why take the risk of assuming the "stock" of primates received haven't been taken from the wild? Also the reduction of numbers in the wild and the damage to the remaining species caused by the loss of diverity in the gene pool is obviously unacceptable.

The whole practice of using primates in experiments is abhorrent, unethical, highly exploitative and must be banned and  legislated against.

Page reviewed: 16 September, 2016