Lord Hanuman is one of the most popular idols in the Hindu religion and is worshipped as a symbol of physical strength, perseverance and devotion. The 'monkey god', is revered by Hindu communities around the world, including a considerable segment of the population on the paradise island of Mauritius.
Instead of gambling our medicines -- and our lives -- upon these dismal stakes, scientists can make more meaningful predictions about the effectiveness of new therapies in humans and about their safety that are relevant to people in the real world, and intercept the progression of disease before a patient even receives their diagnosis.
On 16 July, the Home Office released statistics regarding the types of 4.11 million scientific procedures on other animals used in 2012, which again show an increase compared to 2011 figures. The Vegan Society is deeply worried about this trend and the assumed effectiveness of animal research that exists among many scientists and parliamentarians.
Nowadays we all take for granted the medical breakthroughs of the 20th Century: diphtheria and polio vaccines, antibiotics, modern anaesthetics, the treatments for childhood leukaemia that have allowed so many children to live full and healthy lives. These all owed a huge debt to animal research. If we are to address the unmet medical needs of the 21st Century such as cures for dementia and stroke, then it is likely that some animal research will be necessary.
The Government's commitment in 2010 was quite clear: to "work to reduce the use of animals in scientific research". This week it was announced that in 2012, over 4.11 million experiments were carried out, with a 9% increase in the number of animals used. Rarely has a broken promise been so directly exposed by reality.
Chris Magee writes in the Huffington Post "We all agree" that the European ban on animal testing for cosmetics is "fantastic news" that has been "a long time coming", but that the research community parts company with animal protection campaigns that seek to end animal testing for veterinary and medical uses.
Coalition government is intrinsically difficult, with key party priorities liable to founder on the need to achieve agreement in detail. All the more reason, one might think, for the Government to forge ahead in areas where the parties entirely agree. One such area is a reduction in experiments on animals.
In a bid to mimic the effects of Parkinson's disease, a London medical research team injected 22 marmoset monkeys with a potent brain poison every day for five days. After the last dose, none was able to move. They sat hunched, mute and rigid in their cages, so severely disabled that they had to be hand-fed. The monkeys were then given the illegal party drug Ecstasy in the hope that it might provide insights into chemical pathways within the brain. None of this research proved beneficial to humans; rendering the suffering of the monkeys valueless. This experiment was part funded by the medical charity Parkinson's UK.
Kirk Leech extols the alleged benefits of animal research. It is to be hoped that scientists bring greater intellectual rigour to their research than he does to his arguments.
Newcastle University will be forced to disclose licences governing its controversial experiments on primates after a tribunal ruled that they would no...