Ending Primate Experiments

Every year, hundreds of primates are confined to laboratories across Australia. Many are subjected to cruel experiments and are almost always killed afterward.

These primates range from macaques to marmosets, baboons to night monkeys. While some researchers see them merely as ‘resources’, ‘lab tools’, or ‘animal models’, we see them as unique sentient beings, deserving of dignity, respect, and understanding. Animal-Free Science Advocacy calls for Australia to end primate experiments, highlighting the ethical and scientific benefits of animal-free research methods.

 The Law on using primates in Australian research

All experiments conducted in Australia involving non-human primates must comply with:

Take action to end primate experiments

Our “Honour Me With A Name” campaign invites supporters to sponsor primates and help raise awareness. You can also take action and raise awareness with our email action, online advocacy, and more. By supporting these initiatives, together we can push for research alternatives and the rehoming of primates formerly in laboratories. 

I'm a female macaque who lived for almost two decades in a lab"
"I was found unconscious and frothing at the mouth in my cage"
One day, after 15 years in a cage, my heart just stopped"

Support Our Campaign: Sponsor and Name a Primate

As an individual or a corporate sponsor, name a primate in our ‘Honour Me With A Name’ campaign.

Firstly, browse the stories of individual primates, each one is based on factual information we have gathered about their lives in labs. 

Secondly, select one of our sponsorship packages. Your contribution helps us to campaign for an end to animal experimentation in Australia. 

Bronze Package ($250): Receive a personalised certificate and a Maurice the Monkey plush toy, with an optional shout-out on social media. 

Silver Package ($500): All the benefits of the Bronze package, plus an optional thank you call and a personalised poster featuring the story of a primate you have named. 

Gold Package ($750): Includes all Silver benefits, a thank you on our website, a stylish AFSA marmoset T-shirt, and an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour at Banana Cabana Primate Sanctuary in Sydney.

Diamond Corporate Package (Minimum $1,500): Ideal for businesses, this package includes a presentation to your team, features your company’s logo on our site, and other Gold Package benefits.

* After placing your order, you will receive an email to determine your preferences for your package. If the primate you select is shown as ‘sold out’ this means a name has already been allocated. 

Share Our Campaign

Raise Awareness

Become a AFSA Member

Each primate’s image and story is shareable from the shop to social media. So even if you aren’t supporting our campaign financially, you can support it by sharing these stories widely to your friends. Use the hashtags #HonourMeWithAName and #BanPrimateExperiments so we can find your posts.

We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with passionate animal advocates. Recently, to raise awareness for World Day for Animals in Labs, the amazing volunteer team behind Animal Kind Australia (formerly Animal Liberation Queensland) took to the streets of Brisbane to share out our pamphlets and stickers and share the message of our #HonourMeWithAName campaign to the public.

For advice and coordination about street-based and university based actions, please get in touch with us to get some pamphlets and postcards to give out. 

Our yearly membership is reasonably priced at $33 AUD per year.  Membership means you are supporting our advocacy work to end animal experiments in Australia and can also take the opportunity to be more closely involved in our work. 

A Government Funded Sanctuary for Primates Used in Australian Research Is Urgently Needed

The 8th edition of the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes was released in 2013 and it states (in section 3.4.2) that:

Opportunities to rehome animals should be considered wherever possible, especially when the impact of the project or activity on the wellbeing of the animal has been minimal and their physiological condition and behavioural attributes indicate that they can be introduced to a new environment with minimal, transient impact on their wellbeing.”

 

There are no retirement facilities in Australia for rehoming primates from labs 

There are currently no retirement facilities in Australia for primates after their use in research (1). The NHMRC Policy on the care and use of non-human primates for scientific purposes requires the long-term welfare of non-human primates to be taken into account when deciding the fate of the animals. Retirement at the national breeding colonies is considered an option when the health and temperament of the animal are considered suitable.

It has been acknowledged by the NHMRC that due to their close evolutionary relationship to humans, primates are worthy of special consideration in regards to their ethical treatment. However, as mentioned in the primate principles and guidelines (2) the breeding colonies will not generally accept animals that have been used for scientific purposes.

In some cases, quality of life for primates may be possible post research

Depending on the type of research conducted on the animals, some may be left in a traumatised or deteriorated state, however many animals may still have the ability to sustain a quality life. To merely dispose of these animals when they are no longer required is a total disregard of their individual worth.

If their use 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. The establishment of a retired primate sanctuary for rehoming primates from labs could be funded primarily by the NHMRC and supported and overseen by animal welfare groups. These animals deserve a dignified retirement in return for their use in science.

[1] Senate Community Affairs Committee, ‘Answers to estimates questions on notice’, Health and Ageing Portfolio, Budget Estimates 2013-14, 5/6 & 7 June 2013, question E13-104, http://www.aph.gov.au/~/media/Estimates/Live/clac_ctte/estimates/bud_1314/DoHA/Answers/104.ash

[2] National Health and Medical Research Council, (2016) Principles and guidelines for the care and use of non-human primates for scientific purposes 

Banana Cabana Primate Sanctuary

Located in Dural, 40 minutes from Sydney is a sanctuary that is semi-public and dedicated to providing end of life care and a forever home to primates that have been unwanted for many reasons. These animals come from Zoos, circuses and in one case from a laboratory. At Banana Cabana Primate Sanctuary, these primates are able to live out the remainder of their lives in peace in a rural natural setting with access to stimulating activities and large enclosures. Banana Cabana is a suitable place for rehoming primates from labs and provides an alternative to the killing of many of these primates after they are used in experimentation.

International Primate Sanctuaries 

There are four primate sanctuaries which accommodate primates formally used in medical research in the USA.

  1. Chimp Haven in Louisiana, USA. 
  2. Primates Inc in Wisconsin, USA.
  3. Pan Pacific Primate Sanctuary in Hawaii, USA. 
  4. Oklahoma Primate Sanctuary, USA
Baby macaque in a lab. Adult baboon. Help us with ending primate experiments in Australia

Honour Me With A Name

Learn more about our campaign to name and give dignity and respect to primates and their individual stories living in Australian labs.

Adult baboon. Help us with ending primate experiments in Australia

Primate Experiment Resources

Discover resources such as videos, articles and podcasts about current research on primates both in Australia and worldwide.

Tiny night monkey baby. Help us with ending primate experiments in Australia

Experts' Views On Primate Research

Dr Jane Goodall, Dr Garet Lahvis, Sir David Attenborough and others weigh in with their views on the harms of using primates in research.

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