Cure Parkinson’s Trust sponsors experiments pumping primate brains full of harmful drugs
Animal welfare activists have begged a British charity to stop “profoundly disturbing” experiments on monkeys’ brains for medical research into Parkinson’s disease.
Campaign organisation Animal Aid issued a statement today denouncing the Cure Parkinson’s Trust for sponsoring Canadian scientists to inject monkeys with brain-damaging drugs.
“The vast majority of the British public do not want their money being used to fund profoundly disturbing experiments on animals,” said Animal Aid director Andrew Tyler.
In papers published in the Journal of Neuroscience and Public Library of Science ONE between 2011 and 2012, the testing was described as injecting marmoset monkeys with the chemical MPTP, which mimics Parkinson’s by killing brain cells.
The animals were then given differing doses of L-Dopa — a Parkinson’s treatment drug — to monitor its side effects.
Cure Parkinson’s Trust was named in the media as a supporter of the tests.
“We are calling on charities like the Cure Parkinson’s Trust to focus solely on productive non-animal research,” added Mr Tyler.
Animal Aid argues that the recurrent use of the same animals was equally disgraceful, given that — according to the Home Office’s measurement of animal tests — the suffering induced to the marmoset monkeys was “severe.”
Mr Tyler claimed that the British public’s money was ultimately being used to torture the animals.
In Britain, as in Europe, it is illegal to re-use animals for experiments on the “severe” threshold of pain, distress or lasting harm.