STRASBOURG (AFP) — Lawmakers at the European Parliament called on Thursday for a ban against the use of primates for scientific experimentation.
More than 400 of the parliament's 785 members supported a declaration urging the European Commission to include the ban in a revision of EU rules on the treatment of animals in laboratories.
British conservative and head of the assembly's animal welfare panel, Neil Parish, said the declaration "sends a clear message to the Commission that animal experimentation should be phased out."
In addition to a ban on the use of large monkeys and monkeys caught in the wild for experimental ends, the text calls for a timeframe for replacing the use of all primates for scientific purposes with alternatives.
According to London-based pressure group Animal Defenders International, nearly 10,000 monkeys are used each year in European labs, mainly in Britain, France and Germany.
A European Commission survey from 2006 found that 80 percent of Europeans are against the use of primates for scientific purposes.
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