30 Nov 2004

BUAV – Witness the cutting edge of British Medical Research
The shocking investigation by the BUAV reveals for the first time the fill in-debth horror of primate research in the UK.

“At Cambridge University a colony of between 400-500 marmosets were kept in small, barren metal cages. The monkeys were being bred for use in brain experiments. The research looked at aspects of brain function, brain disorders and potential treatments.

(mouse over the marmosets to read their story)

Toga was a beautiful and lively little monkey before he was deliberately brain damaged on 7/8/01. Filmed following surgery, he was seen hunched in the corner of the recovery cage, the long cut across the top of his head bloody and raw and his whole face looked swollen and distorted. The hopeless expression in his eyes was heartbreaking.The experiments, some of which could last more than two years, included the deliberate infliction of brain damage (once, twice or three times) either by cutting or sucking out areas of the brain or by injecting toxins (this normally involved the top of the marmosets’ skull being sawn open or drilled); training and testing on tasks before and after brain damage (water deprivation and food restriction were used to coerce the monkeys to carry out the tasks); testing novel drugs, brain grafts and gene therapy on the brain damaged monkeys.

Belanna was distinctive with her pale pink skin and white fur. She was brain damaged on 28/6/01. She deteriorated, lost a lot of weight and started to behave strangely. Described by researchers as 'watching the birdies', she continued to be used in behavioural tests and was killed just four months later.The suffering and distress experienced by the marmosets was immense. Such brutality towards our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom cannot be allowed to continue. The BUAV is therefore calling for the Zero Option, a new campaign initiative to end the use of primates in research.”

“It’s quite amazing. It’s just like taking the lid off a monkey… and you just plonk it back on again.” ~ Researcher describing sawing the skull of a marmoset

“It’s good fun to get them to do different tasks & to set up different tasks.” ~ Researcher

These monkeys were in a pitiful state, suffering the horrific effects of brain damage to artificially induce a stroke. The surgery involved slicing open the scalp and then using an electric saw to cut around their skull. Long-term effects of the brain damage included physical disabilities, learning and memory impairment and weight loss. However, no one can really know the true cost to the monkeys' mental and emotional well being such as confusion, frustration, anxiety, fear and mood alterations.There are various alternatives to monkeys in brain research currently available. Please join me and help the BUAV put an end to their suffering!

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