Stop this suffering

Simon Festing's definition of "a small number" (Letters, 5 November) differs from most people's.

Some 10,000 primates are used in EU laboratories annually, with more than a third undergoing experiments in the UK. These intelligent, sentient animals have a complex range of physiological and psychological needs. It is impossible to capture, breed, transport, house them in laboratories and experiment on them without causing severe suffering. A study of ex-laboratory chimpanzees found they suffered psychological trauma similar to human victims of torture.

More than 150 MPs signed an "early day motion" calling for a ban on primate experiments, while more then 400 MEPs signed a "written declaration" supporting this aim. It is time for governments to listen to their elected members and take action on this issue.


Animal Aid

Tonbridge, Kent

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Simon Festing alleges the importance of experiments on primates for developing treatment for strokes. The reality is that primate models of stroke are not only unethical but have also proved to be scientifically unsound.

David Martin MEP (Letters, 29 October) is to be congratulated for calling for a timetabled replacement of all primate experiments in the EU. Instead of having the shame of being the primate-testing capital of the EU, we would like Scotland to lead the way in developing, promoting and using cutting-edge, non-animal research methods for the benefit of people and primates.


Chief executive officer Advocates for Animals

Queensferry Street, Edinburgh