"With primate research able to make real contibutions to alleciating devastating conditions like Parkinson's disease and HIV/AIDS, the harmful consequences that could result from abandoning this work are clear"
Dr Sophie Petit-Zeman is Director of Public Dialogue at the Association of Medical Research Charities. Her coments below are in regard to the Wetherall Report, a report on the use of non-human primates in research published in December 2006. The study was initiated by the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal Society, the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust.
"We welcome the overall conclusion, that such work continue, while acknowledging that primate research is of particular concern to many people. In common with all animal-based studies it can be carried out only where there is no alternative, to the highest welfare standards and projects considered on individual merit: the costs to the animals involved must be carefully weighted against the potential benefits to man. With primate research able to make real contibutions to alleviating devastating conditions like Parkinson's disease and HIV/AIDS, the harmful consequences that could result from abandoning this work are clear. We look forward to seeing further patient benefit in these and other areas where primates are used, in a climate where researchers are able to be open about the vital work that they do free from fear of intimidation. In parallel, they and those who fund them must ensure that research is well co-ordinated between groups, and keep the importance of finding alternatives wherever possible in mind at all times."