Monkeys will still be at our mercy but chimpanzees and gorrillas will soon have legal protection in Europe against being used in biological experiments. A European draft law would keep primates out of the laboratory. Only scientifically indispensible exceptions could be made, in the animals’ natural habitat. The project tightens up an existing directive regulating experimentation on vertebrates.
Authorisation would be required, and only given where the aim is for research to improve human health, such as to develop treatments for cancer or Parkinson’s disease. The project has been approved by the EU member states, and now awaits voting in the European Parliament.
Testing on animals has been banned in the EU for cosmetics purposes since 2009, except for long duration toxicity tests, which in their turn are to be phased out in 2013.