New online portal to report animal cruelty in laboratories in the EU

Frightened rescued monkey from laboratory, photo: Jo-Anne McArthur / NEAVS
Frightened rescued monkey from laboratory, photo: Jo-Anne McArthur / NEAVS

The animal rights organization Animal Rights has launched the online portal Report Animal Testing where people can confidentially and anonymously report malpractices in animal testing in the European Union (EU).

According to Animal Rights, governments in the EU don’t enforce European legislation to protect laboratory animals well enough. They recently requested the reports of all animal welfare inspections that have been carried out by the Belgian government in the monkey lab of the university KU Leuven.

The reports revealed extreme suffering of monkeys that are used for tests at KU Leuven. A monkey called Brain had an infected and open wound from a fixation rod on his head. A fixation rod is used to fix the head of the monkeys during the animal experiments so that the monkeys can’t move.

It also revealed that the monkeys are kept very thirsty and are not provided with sufficient water. They first have to follow commands from researchers correctly before they’re given water or juice.

“The test monkeys have been kept thirsty for 30 years without government intervention. Withholding a basic need such as drinking water is a cruel method of coercion to force animals already in pain to carry out the researchers’ demands,” Animal Rights campaign coordinator Jen Hochmuth said in a statement.

Another monkey called Dipsy had an epileptic seizure, and another one a broken arm. The most recently requested inspection report does not mention the condition of the animals now, according to Animal Rights. “We are now almost a year on. What about Abu, Brain and Dipsy and the other 40 test monkeys at KU Leuven?” Hochmuth said.

The Belgian government knows that monkeys suffer but hasn’t taken the correct measures. “Inspections are a failing measure. For the minister, it is apparently only about ticking off minimal legal obligations and not actually about better protection of laboratory animals,” Hochmuth continued.

Animal Rights say that the EU is supposed to have one of the highest animal welfare standards for animal testing, but “a law is only as good as its enforcement”. That’s why Animal Rights created the portal Report Animal Testing, to stop the suffering of animals and demand adequate actions from governments when laws are not followed.

It’s proven that testing on animals is not effective because the body of an animal differs too much from a human. It has become more of a ‘habit’ to use animals in science than a necessary or useful method.

There are alternatives to animal testing that give better results, Dr. Jarrod Bailey explains in this video.

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