Table of Contents
02.03.2010 Day of solidarity with Austrian ARAs & the 1st day of trial
15.01.2010 USA: Update on US HR1326
141 Cosponsors Now on Bill
Wednesday - January 13, 2010 (posted in Project R&R News)
Keeping a strong and steady pace since its introduction March 2009, the Great Ape Protection Act (H.R. 1326) has, of as today, the support of 141 cosponsors. The bill is currently in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Project R&R thanks all our supporters who contacted their legislators. YOUR outreach has led to this ever-growing bi-partisan list of sponsors so critical to help ensure the bill’s success.
» If your Representative is not signed on, ask them to cosponsor the Great Ape Protection Act (H.R. 1326.)
» If they are a cosponsor, please thank them.
» To order legislator postcards, click here.
» To find your legislator, click here.
» Finally, email the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Let them know you no longer want your tax dollars going towards research on great apes. Tell them you want NIH:
* To retire all government owned/supported chimpanzees currently in U.S. labs to sanctuary; and,
* To reallocate funding for alternatives, which are more humane, safer and better science.
17.11.2009 Bremen, Germany: Court allows neurologist to continue his research on primates
In an interim decision the Administrative Court of Bremen has allowed neurologist Andreas Kreiter to continue his research on primates until a final decision is made. The ECEAE is extremely disappointed that these primates will be allowed to continue to suffer in these experiments while the Court reaches its decision. This decision is not expected to be made prior to spring 2010.
In October 2008 the health authority of the Federal State of Bremen denied a further extension to Kreiter’s permit to carry out brain experiments on primates. Up until then his permit had been extended every three years. Bremen’s Senator of Health considered the suffering of the animals outweighed the possible benefits to humans.
Kreiterfiled a formal objection against the health authority’s decision and at the same time applied for an interim court order allowing him to continue the experiments until the legal dispute was settled.
In December 2008, Bremen’s Administrative Court ruled that the experiments may be continued for a maximum of two months subsequent to the health authority’s pending decision on the objection. The health authority confirmed its refusal of Kreiter's permit on 12th August 2009.
On 20th October 2009 the Administrative Court ruled that the experiments may continue until its final decision is made.
This means that Kreiter may continue his research without a permit as required by the German Animal Protection Law. The Court said that a final decision could not be made now, that more information on the suffering of the animals is needed. Experts will now be commissioned to evaluate the suffering of the 28 macaques involved in the research.
see the previous info: 15.08.2009 German authority rejects permit for experiments on primates again (scroll down)
03.11.2009 Nepal Monkey Farming Ban Becomes Law!
On the 2nd of Novemeber 2009 the Cabinet of the Nepalese Government passed into
Law a declaration which formally ends monkey farming in Nepal. Whilst this
decision was always expected, we can now conclusively state that Nepal's
monkeys have been saved from vivisection…BY LAW!!!
The legally binding agreement also means that international primate rescue
groups are now able to assist in the rehabilitation operation for the monkeys
still caged in the farm; with one Dutch group already having offered support,
and others having publicly offered assistance before, we are hopeful for a
swift and successful release operation.
The only problem with the declaration is that the Nepalese Government chose to
offer NO financial assistance to the rehabilitation foundation…instead they
are expecting "external" funding for the project, so soon the rehabilitation
foundation is expecting to take responsibility for nearly 400 hungry mouths
with limited funds to sustain them!
The monkeys are still being "cared for" by the breeders, who will receive
compensation in exchange for the animals and the farm once they are handed over
to the campaign foundation. The farm will be used as a base for the
rehabilitation project and the foundation hopes that, once converted, it will
also serve as a rehabilitation sanctuary for other wildlife once the monkeys
have been released.
The current estimate for the project's cost is around €100 per monkey, or
about €40,000, and around 6-12 months to successfully complete. A fundraising
campaign is urgently being established by a European campaign group, and
activists are preparing to travel to Nepal, (entirely at their own expense), to
provide support and advice to the campaigners setting up the foundation.
More information will follow soon about the new fundraising campaign, (which is
being setup under a different name to Gateway to Hell), and we sincerely hope
that we can rely on your continued support to end this incredible grassroots
campaign in fairytale style!
21.10.2009 When vegan is not vegan
It's not a news story but to make aware those who haven't heard it yet
ALPRO, the EU market leader in soya-based foods and which is also a division of Vandemoortele N.V., Belgium’s largest privately-held food company, was acquired by Dairy Giants Dean Foods Company in June 2009.
Dean Foods is the largest processor and distributor of cow milk and other dairy products in the United States. They also own Silk Soy which is the leading brand of soymilk in the U.S.
The acquisition of the European company ALPRO, which owns the brands Alpro and Provamel will make DEAN Foods the global leader in soy products.
Gregg Engles, chairman and chief executive of Dean Foods, said soymilk could be one of the fastest growing lines in the food and beverage industry: “This is one of the most strategic assets we could have acquired. We see significant opportunities to leverage the collective strengths of both businesses across a global soy platform to accelerate growth.”
Alpro CEO Bernard Deryckere welcomed the acquisition, stating that “We look forward to being part of Dean Foods, a strong organization that shares our passion for brands. With our successful European market strategy, compatible values and great staff, we can build a strong future as part of Dean Foods.”
Alpro now joins the list of the companies which were sold to companies thriving off animal exploitation. The list includes Tom of Maine bought by Colgate-Palmolive, the Body Shop now owned by vivisection giants L’Oreal and Original Source owned by PZ Cussons.
The irony is obvious. It is not just that they are now bought by corporations which are known for animal exploitation; it is also that their new parent companies specialise in the exact animal exploitation that the former were known to avoid.
It raises the question that if we do not support companies that are owned by major vivisection labs or companies like P&G then how is that any different than avoiding a company that is directly linked to raping, enslaving and murdering cows for dairy products?
28.09.2009 some news on the austrian case
On 9th of September, VGT gave a big press conference on the charges,
which had been laid. The whole charge sheet against VGT activists has
been published on the VGT website with commentaries. None of this exists
in English, though.
During the press conference, a number of points were raised forcefully:
- The state prosecution failed to produce evidence of the existence of
a criminal organisation. The whole criminal organisation is just imaginary.
- The criminal campaigning style described by the state prosecution is
just normal NGO-campaigning with the addition of anonymously sent
threatening emails and crminal damage. It does not stretch the
imagination too far to assume that the latter two are deeds by unknown
individuals, who somehow learn about different animal rights campaigns
and committ their acts without any contact to the campaigning NGOs.
- Nothing that the state prosecution accuses the VGT activists of doing
is in any way strange or abnormal for NGO work.
Fact is, state prosecution has some criminal acts without the
purpetrators, and it has some active NGOs without criminal acts. In the
absence of any factual connection, state prosecution simply alleges that
the NGO activists and the unknown criminals form a criminal organisation
together, since they are working for the same goal. To make this
connection look likely in the eyes of judges, who never had anything to
do with protests themselves, state prosecution just tries to portray the
NGO activists as radical, extremist and fundamentalist law breakers, who
break into factory farms to film conditions, who sab hunts and who
occupy offices and hen batteries.
In fact, the real crminals are state prosecution and police, who both
have broken all rules in the books, among them:
- there still is not full access to police files on the case
- all applications by the accused have been ignored
- the police reports and charge sheets is propaganda pure and simple
- material taken during police raids almost 1 1/2 years ago has still
not been returned
In the meantime, we made an application for the trial to be moved to
Vienna. We do think that this would be a necessary pre-condition for
being found not guilty. The judge said she does not object. Now the
Supreme Court will decide whether the trial will move. In any case, no
court date before 2010 is to be expected.
Last Wednesday 23rd September, University Professors commented on the
case. All Austrian Professors, who have so far gone public, which
include 7 people, have strongly opposed section 278a and the charge
against the activists. In the newest debate last Wednesday, more
statements were made forcefully:
- section 278 and 278a should be abolished altogether
- it is obvious that the authorities want to prosecute, never mind with
- the aim of section 278a is to persecute political beliefs; the target
are sympathizers, who are active in what is considered radical
movements, and who do participate in campaigns without exact knowledge
and rule on who else is participating
- it is clear that the supreme court has more sympathy with banks than
with animal rights activists, since they interprete section 278a very
differently in the two cases
- section 278a clearly contravenes the constitution in its wording as
well as in its application
There is very little media coverage of the case these days. Both events
above did create some media coverage, all of which was positive, but the
boulvard did not respond and the coverage was not particularly remarkable.
Today, there were new and unbelievable developments. The special police
force working against animal rights has visited a judge and questioned
her for 1 hour. This judge had found animal rights activists, who were
sabbing a hunt, not guilty on appeal. The police claim that she is part
of the criminal organisation and is supporting criminal activism. A
little later, one of the activists, who had been acquitted by her, was
also questioned by police. The evidence seems to be emails by Martin
Balluch, who spoke highly of that judge and urged other activists to
appeal as well. The judge was questioned whether she knew Martin Balluch
and whether she worked together with him and had met him.
This marks a new low in police terrorism. Now, even judges, who find in
favour of animal activism, have to face serious repercussions and
24.09.2009 China will soon be the most important exporter of lab monkeys in the world
We always have no much time to celebrate any success. Until they all are free….
Made to suffer: Exporting primates for reasearch
The mainland is quickly and quietly becoming the world's leading breeder of primates destined for laboratory research. The country has many factory farms devoted to the business
Sep 13, 2009
Thousands of tiny hands grip the cage bars. Their resemblance to those of children is discomforting - but a similarity to humankind is the reason their possessors are here.
Cage after cage in row after row stretch along the subtropical valley floor. Inside sit long-tailed macaques: the favoured monkey of the vivisectionist because they are small and easily handled. The creatures look like they know what their future holds; wide-eyed they cower at the back of their cages, already terrified of human contact. Mothers clutch babies in their sterile prisons, their fate etched in code on metal discs that hang around their necks.
The monkeys' short lives will come to an end in laboratories in Europe, the United States and Japan; their torture the dark side of advances in science and medicine.
When complete, at the end of the year, this monkey farm, north of Guangzhou, will be the biggest in the world, able to house 50,000 primates. The facility is being built in some secrecy in Conghua county by Blooming Spring Biological Technology Development.
The location was well chosen; it is obscured by a hill, invisible from a nearby highway and within 30 minutes of an international airport. The cages are hidden in a pink-tiled compound more than a kilometre in length that is surrounded by a three-metre-high wall. Inside, scientists scurry about in white coats.
The mainland has been quickly and quietly building monkey farms since about 2000, when breeding stock was imported from Cambodia. The mainland now has 39 farms, most of which are licensed to breed for the lucrative export trade. Although numbers are difficult to ascertain, official figures - along with those from US sources and this investigation - suggest there are more than 200,000 captive primates on the mainland. Official figures last year put the number of monkeys in farms licensed for export at 170,000.
Guarded and gated, the farm compounds have been built in dead-end valleys, jungle clearings and even on an island. Visitors are not welcome and journalists are despised only slightly less than animal-rights activists.
"How did you find this place?" demands a security guard at the anonymous entrance to the Blooming Spring farm, which has the appearance of a nondescript factory. By searching country lanes and questioning locals for two days is the answer, but we do not give it.
"No one comes here," says the guard, calling through to a superior. "No visitors are allowed here."
The guard's boss, who introduces himself as "Supervisor Deng" and seems ever alert for potential buyers, is more welcoming. He drives us through the facility in a black jeep.
"We have bought that hillside," he says, nodding to his right. "Soon it will also be covered in cages. We have our own water supply and feeding facilities here for up to 50,000 monkeys."
The DNA of long-Tailed macaques and other primates is about 96 per cent identical to that of humans, making their bodies an accurate testing ground for scientific procedures and drugs prior to them being declared safe for humans. Research that even a generation ago would have seemed whimsical - into gene therapy, cures for cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, stem cells and antibody-based treatments - requires a lot of testing; on monkeys.
Figures published in July show British scientists carried out 4,598 experiments on primates last year, a 16 per cent rise on 2007. The US is the world's largest consumer of lab monkeys; 2007 figures (the most recent available) total 69,990 primates - an all-time high. The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) claims about 90,000 monkeys are used annually worldwide.
Increasingly these animals are coming from the mainland. Eighteen thousand long-tailed macaques were exported from the country to the US last year. Many of these monkeys, the BUAV claims, are "torn from the wild", a practice forbidden by European law. A film taken this year and screened on the BUAV's website shows Cambodian traders capturing and bagging macaques for sale to farms that trade with the mainland.
The organisation's director of special projects, Sarah Kite, says, "The BUAV investigation exposed the shocking cruelty inflicted on wild monkeys during their capture, handling and subsequent confinement in small plastic bags and storage under the planks of a boat.
"BUAV investigators filmed trappers as they illegally hunted primates in the swamps and jungles of Cambodia, including inside a specially protected wetland nature reserve."
Shirley McGreal, director of the International Primate Protection League (IPPL), says, "The animal farms are sucking up monkeys from Cambodia and Vietnam and there is no question that they are getting them illegally. The US Fisheries and Wildlife Service has ongoing investigations into the sources of monkeys coming from China.
"The trade is an ugly one and we foresee a future where monkeys are wiped from the face of the earth. In 30 years or so there will be no primates available [in the wild]."
Conservation International, a non-governmental organisation that promotes biodiversity and world conservation, reported last year that 11 of the world's 25 most endangered primates are native to Asia.
The mainland's farmed monkey population needs to be continually replenished to ensure a strong genetic base and prevent inbreeding. Dr Yue Feng, general manager of a Nanning bioengineering firm and spokesman for the Primates Biotechnology Research and Development Centre, says, "It is necessary to go to the origin of the crab-eating monkeys [long-tailed macaques] to find some better quality monkeys" to introduce into the farmed populations, an admission offered up repeatedly by monkey farmers.
A long-awaited vote on the use of laboratory animals in the European Union in May proved a major disappointment for animal-rights groups. Big pharmaceutical companies and scientific establishments spent fortunes lobbying politicians to ensure there were no big changes to the law. European scientists argue that restrictions on using primates would give researchers in the US an advantage.
Scientists are adamant that the use of primates is essential. Oxford University neuroscientist Tipu Aziz told a preliminary meeting of European parliamentarians that a ban would force him to abandon research that could lead to new treatments for Alzheimer's, motor neurone disease, strokes and many other illnesses. Aziz's research on monkeys taught him how to insert electrodes into the brains of Parkinson's sufferers, delivering instant relief.
Despite their victory in the European Parliament, it appears some pharmaceutical companies are planning ahead, hedging their bets in case a future vote goes against them.
McGreal says she was told by a spokesman for a large pharmaceutical company that his company was setting up a lab on the mainland, in which 7,500 monkeys would be housed.
"He told us that the feeble oversight of animal facilities in China and the cheap workforce meant it was easy and cheap for them to operate in China," she says.
A report released by the Chinese delegation at a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species meeting in Mexico last year stated: "Because of the high cost of maintaining laboratory animals and the animal welfare issue, many companies in developed countries want to move their animal experiments overseas, especially to the developing countries."
The mainland could make a lot of money experimenting on monkeys on behalf of other countries. Overseas researchers would be able to work in a country that has no animal-welfare laws and in which animal-rights groups would find it almost impossible and unlawful to operate.
But, for now, mainland businessmen are concentrating on breeding monkeys for export.
An enterprising Fujian province zookeeper, Yu Zhengyang, 38, became a monkey trader when he decided there was no money to be made in public zoos. He now breeds rhesus macaques, the second-most sought after primate for testing, which he sells on to labs.
"Domestic scientific research units demand more than 10,000 rhesus monkeys annually," he says. "There is no doubt that the market potential is great. I bought my first 70 monkeys at 5,000 yuan [HK$5,680] each and can sell ‘cultured’ animals for 10,000 yuan each. I have around 200 monkeys and in two or three years I hope to have 700 and be the biggest farm in Fujian province."
The price paid for "cultured" (healthy and pathogen-free) monkeys when exported runs at between US$2,000 and US$3,000 each - equating to a market that runs into hundreds of millions of US dollars.
The monkey farms are mostly located in remote areas of Guangxi, Yunnan and Guangdong provinces. The hot, humid, bamboo-covered hills of Conghua county are home to at least four such operations.
One of the country's oldest farms is located on a jungle-covered island in the middle of the Mekong River, in Xishuangbanna prefecture, on the border with Vietnam. The farm breeds 14 species of monkey and a research worker at the facility claims it exports the primates to Britain and is also carrying out a "big research project" for an American concern.
Blooming Spring chairman Deng Zhuobiao is keen to show off his headquarters, about 20 kilometres from the new farm complex. He's proud of the fact his monkeys are sold "overseas only".
"Business has been growing steadily for the past four years. I have a lot of confidence in the future of this business," he says as he gives us a brief tour.
The quarantine room houses 368 stainless-steel cages. "We have three rooms like this," says Deng. "The facility could push out 1,104 monkeys every 60 days."
Next come the labs in which the monkeys are tested to ensure they are disease-free, followed by cage upon cage of petrified animals, many carrying babies. Before we leave the facility Deng shows us his export licence and breeding certificate.
"We already do business with some very big US companies," he says, "and we export to Europe."
Deng also stresses that Blooming Spring is applying for recognition by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, which would permit it to carry out experiments for international organisations.
"With the government behind us it makes things very easy," says Deng, the supervisor. "Things have loosened up with the current economy. The government wants us to succeed."
At the Conghua Yueyuan Laboratory Animal Breeding Farm, about 30 kilometres from the Blooming Spring farm, the chief veterinary surgeon, a Mr Li, explains that only about two yuan is spent per day on the upkeep of monkeys that fetch at least US$2,000 when they are exported.
"Our biggest overseas customer is an American company involved in both cosmetic and pharmaceutical businesses," says Li. "They buy at least 500 monkeys every year. That's US$1 million right there. We also have customers in South Korea and Germany."
A Blooming Spring worker says monkeys are transported 180 at a time in specially made metre-long plastic crates. "We have to give them space or the animal-welfare people overseas complain."
According to Michael Budkie of the NGO Stop Animal Exploitation Now, the "hellish conditions" monkeys are subjected to in mainland farms is "nothing compared with what they will experience once they arrive in the US".
Budkie, who has been investigating conditions in US animal laboratories for more than 20 years, says macaques from the mainland are used in a variety of experiments, including brain-mapping and research into drug abuse, and will be infected with "any number" of diseases.
"The monkeys are trained [to carry out repetitive tasks] using water deprivation for up to 22 hours at a time," says Budkie, explaining the brain-mapping tests. "They are put in restraint chairs, a hole is cut into their skull and electrodes are hard-wired into their brain. The research goes on for several years - if they can keep the animals alive that long.
"Drug research involves force-feeding them heroin, cocaine and PCP and then examining withdrawal. The monkeys are placed alone in stainless-steel cages that are just nine square feet," he says. "There are no stimuli for the macaques, which are normally social animals - they literally go insane. Drug addiction therapy can continue for 10 years, the longest was 14 years."
However, most export monkeys, having been selected for quarantine when they are between one and three years old, won't have to suffer for that long. "Most are dead within a year of arriving in the US," says McGreal.
It is an open secret that the US Defence Department is one of the monkey farms' biggest clients. "The monkeys are used in bio-warfare weapons research," says McGreal. "They are poisoned with rycin, sarin, anthrax, even Ebola. We attended a conference for an institute of lab science and a lady from the defence department was quite candid about the suffering the monkeys go through. They only put them out of their misery right at the end, she told us."
Back at the Conghua Yueyuan farm, Li tries to interest us in a business proposition. "If you wanted to set-up as a monkey exporting agent for the UK you can make yourself some good money," he says. "We will do all of the hard work and you can just communicate with the UK labs and make yourself easy money.
"I have no doubt in my mind that China will soon be the most important exporter of lab monkeys in the world."
30.08.2009 Victory! Nepalese Monkeys Saved From Vivisection
After a campaign that lasted for six years (2003-2009) the Nepal government has decided to definitely halt the breeding of monkeys for biomedical research in the USA. It shows that it pays to have patience and that the good forces sometimes do win in the end!
It has been a long ride for many of us, with countless ups and downs. In the meantime four of five Ministers came and went, high level bureaucrats changed postitions, and the population of captive monkeys increased significantly.
As Manoj Gautam points out: 'It shows what can be achieved when one person takes his responsibility serious.' Kudos to Minister Dipak Bohara, and to everyone who has been involved in the Stop Monkey Business Campaign.
This victory will be the end of the Gateway To Hell campaign.
The Gateway To Hell campaign was all about the Nepal monkeys, and now that we won this campaign the people who were doing this work will shift their focuss on other targets.
It doesn't mean that we turn our back on the animals, not at all, it means we take other campaigns 200% seriously and the Gateway To Hell campaign is being put aside because of this.
We want to thank everybody who has been active for this campaign, many people from many countries have showed their best side by being so active for the animals.
We hope you will all stay active for the animals in other campaigns!
the Gateway To Hell team.
30-08-2009 eKantipur, Nepal
Around three hundred monkeys that were to be exported to the United States of America from this week will be able to find their food in
freedom, in their own country. A letter from the Ministry of Forestry for the immediate their immediate release will be send to Pravesh Man Shrestha, who has been breeding monkeys for the past five years.
Forestry Minister Deepak Bohra said, "We have decided not to allow the monkeys to be exported. He further added, "We will ask Pravesh Man to release the monkeys within a week."
After consulting the Department Heads of the Ministry Minster Bohara came to conclusion that it was illegal to export the monkeys. As a
first step toward exporting monkeys Shrestha had planned to export 25 of the 300 monkeys to the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research Center.
Shrestha was breeding the monkeys under the auspices of Nepal Biomedical Research Center. American citizens had also financially
supported this venture. They have now landed in Kathmandu looking for compensation. Shrestha had paid twenty five thousand rupees per
monkey as tax to the Department of National Park and Wildlife Protection to procure 200 monkeys per the Forest animal breeding and
research program Working Guidelines, 2060.
"The law does not permit the export of any wild animals, thus, giving approval to export the monkeys would contravene the law," said an
Under Secretary of the Ministry. "The Ministry has come to the conclusion that the monkeys should be released to their natural environment."
Red monkey [Rhesus monkeys] are listed in the Appendix 2 of the CITES Convention. CITES has banned the export of wildlife in this list.
Dr. Shirley McGreal, OBE, Chairwoman
International Primate Protection League
PO Box 766
Summerville, SC 29484, USA
Phone - 843-871-2280, Fax- 843-871-7988
E-mail - gro.lppi|laergcms#gro.lppi|laergcms, Web: www.ippl.org
Working to Protect All Primates Since 1973
17.08.2009 Animal rights groups call for urgent ECHA action
Four European and two US animal rights and ethics groups today wrote to Geert Dancet, executive director of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), to demand urgent action to prevent companies from undertaking unnecessary animal testing. The organisations are the Humane Society International - Europe, Eurogroup for Animals, European Coalition to End Animal Experiments, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Europe, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals US and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
In their open letter, which was also sent to members of the European Commission, the president of the European Parliament and industry associations, among others, the groups warn of three pressing issues that could force firms to undertake testing in the near future:
* Pre-emptive testing to meet the 2010 deadline - the worry is that companies are rushing ahead and commissioning tests before they check on the availability of data through substances information exchange fora (SIEFs) as required by the REACH Regulation. The slow formation of many SIEFs is exacerbating this problem and the groups call on ECHA to issue a warning to firms.
* Redundant tests within Annex VIII - the groups point to inconsistencies and a lack of clarity in the testing requirements set out in Annexes VIII, IX and X, which may lead to firms carrying out unnecessary testing. They call on ECHA to advise firms that for substances manufactured or imported in sufficient tonnage to qualify for Annex IX and X testing, they must not undertake the Annex VIII repeated dose and reproductive/developmental toxicity tests.
* Improving the utility of Agency third party scrutiny procedure for test proposals - noting ECHA's publication of the first testing proposal for consultation this month, the groups say this provided insufficient information to allow others to meaningfully understand what tests are proposed and whether these are necessary. They also call for the opportunity to contribute information other than quantitative test data, such as suggestions for read-across or other intelligent testing strategy techniques.
The groups request a meeting with Mr Dancet to discuss the issues with the aim of ensuring animal testing is only done as a last resort.
Joint NGO letter: http://www.hsus.org/web-files/PDF/hsi/ari-joint-echa-letter-duplicative-testing.pdf
15.08.2009 German authority rejects permit for experiments on primates again
The Health Authority in Bremen has confirmed that the primate experiments of brain researcher Dr Andreas Kreiter may not be continued. The University wants to appeal against the decision and is prepared to take it to Germany's highest court, the Federal Constitution Court.
In October 2008 the authority, which is responsible for granting licenses for conducting animal experiments in Bremen, denied a further extension of the permit. Until then Dr Kreiter's permit had been extended every three years, the last extension expiring on November 30th 2008.
The neuroscientist filed a formal objection against Bremen health authority's decision and simultaneously applied for an interim court order allowing him to continue the experiments until the legal dispute is settled. This can take years.
In December 2008, Bremen's Administrative Court ruled that the experiments may be continued for a maximum of two months subsequent to service of the health authority's pending decision on the objection.
The Health Authority's decision that the experiments on primates cannot be continued means that Dr Kreiter can now only conduct the experiments for another two months.
However, Dr Kreiter is expected to apply for another interim order allowing him to continue his experiments beyond this two months period.
Further information: http://www.aerzte-gegen-tierversuche.de/en/resources/primates/238-the-situat
13.08.2009 Austrian AR activists CHARGED!!
(info about the case: http://againess-en.wikidot.com/verein-gegen-tierfabriken-freedom-for-the-10-activists)
An unbelievable attack on campaign organising.
After yesterday´s announcement that many of the charges against the accused have been dropped, for the first time details of the remaining charges filed against the 10 animal rights activists have been made known: all 10 will be prosecuted under the controversial §278a and for various individual felonies. Furthermore, the investigations against them and an unknown number of other people continue.
"All hope that the prosecutors responsible for the case had finally come to their senses has dissolved into thin air today", Alex Sommer of antirep2008 stated. "The filings received today show in an alarming manner that this attack by police and the justice system is not directed at specific felonies, but against an active social movement and successful campaigning."
The charges against the accused are mainly activities directed at facilitating and supporting the goals of the alleged criminal organisation, ie "registering protests to the responsible agencies", speaking at public discussions and panels, writing articles for newspapers or magazines or research in the field of fur trade and livestock. According to the charges filed, specific felonies were almost always supposedly committed by "unknown accomplices".
The massive police investigations, which lasted more than two years, were seemingly focussed on the public, political and legal activity of individuals and groups. The use of so called "organised crime law" like §278a as means of criminalisation and justification for massive surveillance and observation, which has been feared by political groups for a long time, has been confirmed once more.
A large part of the accusations against animal rights activistes have been dropped
The legal scandal around §278a enters the second round.
Almost a year and a half after the wave of house searches and arrests there appears to be some movement in the disputed proceedings based on the allegation of allegedly Forming a Criminal Organisation.
Several of the accused received notice that a part of the various charges against them had finally been dropped.
The investigators, under the supervision of the Wiener Neustadt prosecutors, have been trying since 2006 to arbitrarily ascribe all uncleared crimes related to animal welfare or animal rights from the past thirteen years to selected activists of various organisations and groups.
The partial dropping of the charges can be seen as an admittance of the absolute excessiveness of the proceedings and the untenable nature of the charges.
"Without these trumped up charges, this case never could have developed - no investigations into an ever-increasing circle of people, no spying and surveillance, no bugging operations, no pre-trial detention. This case should have never been allowed to exist." explained Alex Sommer from the initiative antirep2008.
Yet even though the prosecution has dropped many of the charges, the main charge, Forming a Criminal Organisation according to §278a, apparently will remain.
"Unfortunately it appears as though the prosecution is still not prepared to admit the full extent of this misscarriage of justice. The announcement of a court date for the §278a proceedings is to be expected within the next days. It remains to be hoped that the remaining allegations, especially the absurd construction of a "criminal organisation," will fall apart in court, much like the charges which have already been dropped.
"Anti-mafia" paragraphs, such as §278a, enable enable the criminalisation of political movements.through the legitimisation of extensive surveillance methods despite only having the vaguest suspicions. Thus in this case it must be assumed there will be charges of "Forming a Criminal Organisation" even though the prosuctions itself admits that there no longer remains suspicion of culpability for many of the original allegations.
Our demands remain:
an end to all §§278ff proceedings and all proceedings against the animal welfare and animal rights movement!
the disclosure of all the investigation methods and unrestricted access to all the files for those targeted by the investigations!
the deletion of §§278ff without replacement!
10.03.2009 Utah Activists Resisting “Animal Enterprise Terrorism” Witch Hunts
Mar 10th, 2009 by Will Potter
“Eco-terrorism” witch hunts in Utah haven’t kept local activists from speaking out and defending those targeted as “animal rights terrorists.”
When two animal rights activists were subpoenaed to a federal grand jury on February 18th, local organizers showed that the activists had public support, and that no one would be intimidated into remaining silent.
The grand jury was investigating the release of thousands of mink from two fur farms by the Animal Liberation Front. Just two week later, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested two Utah animal rights activists, William Viehl and Alex Hall, in connection with the fur farm raids.
I wanted to draw your attention to this grand jury, because it’s an example of how the government uses the pretext of “investigating illegal activity” to harass and intimidate lawful activists. It’s also a great example of how people can organize in response to those tactics.
The activists subpoenaed weren’t been charged with any crimes. They were hauled before a grand jury and ordered to testify about their political beliefs and political associations, all without being permitted to have an attorney present. In these situations, if activists refuse to cooperate they face jail time. If they agree to cooperate, they aid the government’s fishing expedition and validate witch hunt tactics.
Grand juries have historically been used against social movements. They’re a tool to harass and intimidate activists, and foster fear and distrust among activist communities.
In this case, Jordan Halliday, 21, refused to cooperate and was released. Another activist was called to testify and also released.
“Although I do support it, I am not affiliated with it,” Halliday said.
Halliday said prosecutors were unhappy with his refusal to testify. He expects to be called before the grand jury again.
“I’m uncertain at this point,” he said. “It seems they were just fishing for information.”
What Halliday is describing is part of the FBI’s 5-Step Process to Criminalize First Amendment Activity as “Terrorism.” He’s not accused of being involved in the fur farm raid, but he openly unabashedly supports those tactics.
The government argues that grand juries exist to determine if there is enough evidence of a crime to pursue a criminal case. But grand juries almost always indict because only the prosecution presents its case, says University of Utah Associate Law Professor Daniel Medwed notes.
Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. I actually had a version of this post set to be published on March 5th, but removed it because the grand jury indicted two activists just hours earlier. In the original version of the post, I wrote:
There’s something brewing in Utah, and if the recent arrests are any indication, it might be part of an Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act prosecution. But if the response of activist communities is any indication, the government is going to have a hell of a fight on its hands.
Check out these photos I received from outside of the courthouse. It’s inspiring to see the public support shown to these activists. Rather than stay at home and be afraid of scare-mongering tactics, local activists organized a demonstration and reached out to the media. [If you’re curious about the masks, check out “5 Reasons for Activists to Cover Their Faces at Protests”]
These activists didn’t go into the grand jury proceedings alone. They had a vocal community of people supporting them every step of the way.
05.03.2009 Great Ape Protection Act reintroduced
The Great Ape Protection Act (GAPA) was reintroduced today in Congress. Project R&R: Release and Restitution for Chimpanzees in U.S. Laboratories applauds the bill's lead sponsors: Reps. Adolphus Towns, D-NY, David Reichert, R-WA, Jim Langevin, D-RI, and Roscoe Bartlett, R-MD and a long list of other cosponsors, for their commitment and continued attention to the urgent need for this legislation.
04.03.2009 New Iberia Research Center (USA) exposed on ABC TV
New Iberia, Louisiana (affiliated with University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Approximate Number of Primates: 6000
Approximate Number of Chimpanzees: 240
History & Profile
New Iberia Research Center (NIRC) is the largest holding of captive primates in the world, and is owned and operated by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL Lafayette). NIRC is composed of five major divisions: Division of Research Resources, Division of Veterinary Sciences, Division of Animal Resources, Division of Behavioral Sciences, and Division of Occupational Services.
NIRC “operates from a 100-acre site with 24 buildings totaling 485,000 square feet,” and the indoor space includes a 12,000-square-foot diagnostic laboratory. (1) “The Division of Animal Resources maintains husbandry and housing responsibilities for over 6,000 nonhuman primates representing eight species.” (2) The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) reports that NIRC breeds the following species of nonhuman primates: chimpanzee, vervet monkey, cynomolgus macaque, pigtailed macaque, and rhesus macaque. (3) On New Iberia’s Web site they note breeding capuchin monkeys as well. (4) For chimpanzees, NIRC still receives federal funding to maintain the capabilities for breeding them. According to recent government records, received by Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN), NIRC receives over $6.1 million per year for the maintenance of their more than 6,000 primates. (5)
NIRC claims that it has given much attention to the development of “suitable” living quarters for nonhuman primates at the facility. (6) NIRC was formerly known as the Gulf South Research Institute (GSRI), which began the Life Science Division at the site. The division focused primarily on rodent animal models but some primates were housed there as well. (7)
“In 1984, GSRI discontinued its biological research activities and UL Lafayette (then the University of Southwestern Louisiana) redefined the nature of the facility and created the New Iberia Research Center, operating a Primate Research Center as a contract support facility.” (8)
In the 1980s, “the primary focus of [NIRC] was to provide private industry and the federal government with a reliable source of native born, quality bred nonhuman primates.” (9) In 1990, NIRC “expanded its mission by providing pre-clinical safety, pharmacodynamic, pharmacokinetic, and efficacy evaluations of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology products.” (10)
Maternal separation/deprivation experiments were conducted on chimpanzees by G. Berkson and W.A. Mason at this facility. (11)
Nonhuman primates at NIRC are used for vaccine development and pharmaceutical testing. NIRC maintains and provides “a ready source of chimpanzees of mixed ages and sex for use in biomedical and behavioral sciences…” (12) The center “specializes in the breeding, management and importation of a diverse range of nonhuman primate species…” (13)
Principal Research Programs:
- Breeding and supply of various species
- Physiological and pharmacological evaluation
- Chronic and degenerative disease studies
- Vaccine development efficacy and safety testing
- Comparative cognitive development
- These research programs may involve primates other than chimpanzees.
NIRC receives grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for chimpanzee research, housing and maintenance.
For grant 5U42RR015087 titled the “Establishment/Maintenance of Biomedical Research Colony,” over $10 million has been awarded to NIRC since the project began in September 2000. The grant is scheduled to continue through August 2011. NIRC has also received over $7 million for a contract entitled the “Leasing of Chimpanzees for the Conduct of Research.” The contract, N01-A0-22754, started in September 2002 and is scheduled to continue through September 2012. (14)
Thomas J. Rowell, DVM, Director
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
4401 West Admiral Doyle Drive, New Iberia, LA 70560
26.12.2008 USA: Wisconsin Leads the Nation in the Number of Primates Used in Experimentation.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees animal research, recently reported that 8,859 monkeys were used for experiments here in 2007, a 44% increase over the year before. Almost all were in Madison, with the largest share — 7,313 — at Covance Laboratory. The lab on Madison's northeast side also reported using 5,134 dogs, 2,639 rabbits, 863 hamsters, 332 guinea pigs, 261 pig pigs, 32 cats and no partridges in pear trees.
SAEN (Stop Animal Experimentation Now!), an Ohio-based watchdog group, says some primates used by university facilities are not reported. The group also questions the accuracy of claims that none of the monkeys used by the UW-Madison — or anywhere in Wisconsin — were subjected to the most severe category of pain.
"If humans were infected with AIDS, deprived of water for 16 hours, had devices bolted into their skulls or subjected to electro-ejaculation [which is pretty much what it sounds like], they would surely feel pain and/or distress," says SAEN director Michael Budkie, referring to some experiments at the UW, which reported having 1,500 monkeys on hand.
21.12.2008 Germany: Bremen Uni research on primates
"The legal situation in Germany is very clear, and our research is legal and completely correct." Dr Kreiter
- was he right ??
Published 1 December 2008, doi:10.1136/bmj.a2815 Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2815
A change in the political make-up of a German state has resulted in a leading neuroscientist being denied the right to renew his licence to conduct research on
primates. Andreas Kreiter, professor of animal physiology at the University of Bremen, whose research includes the use of monkeys, was told in October that his licence would not be renewed.
Since May 2007 the state of Bremen has been run by a coalition of the centre left Social Democratic party of Germany (SPD) and the Greens, who during the election campaign called for an end to the monkey research.
Professor Kreiter is preparing for a court battle to try to reverse the politicians' decision. In preliminary legal wrangling, an administrative court in Bremen ruled that he could continue his research on 24 macaques, a genus of Old World monkeys, beyond the expiry of his current three year licence on 30 November.
Dr Kreiter said that the legal case could end up being decided by Germany's highest court, the Constitutional Court. But, noting that the German constitution guarantees the right of scientists to conduct research that is legal and ethical, he is "pretty confident" that, in the end, he will be allowed to continue his research with monkeys.
"The legal situation in Germany is very clear, and our research is legal and completely correct. " Dr Kreiter has conducted research with monkeys since training in Frankfurt under Wolf Singer, director of the Department of Neurophysiology at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research.
He has won regulatory approval at the University of Bremen since 1998, but not without strong criticism from animal rights groups.
Asked about reports in the German press that he had received threats, Dr Kreiter said, "It is correct that I have been threatened and been under police protection for several
years. " He applied for a new three year extension of his licence in June, but the government in Bremen had changed since his earlier applications.
Dr Kreiter's extension application was denied in October by Ingelore Rosenkötter, an SPD party member who, as senator for the administration of health, labour, and social issues, has authority over animal experiments. She said that the research was "ethically unjustified" because it focused on long term scientific questions and not on medical treatments. She based her denial in part on the arguments of Jörg Luy, director of the Institute of Animal Protection and Behaviour at the Free University of Berlin, who said that if similar experiments were done on prisoners of war it would be called torture.
When asked to respond Dr Kreiter said: "That is complete nonsense. That is the friendliest thing [I can] say. " In simplest terms, he says, the goal of his research is "to try to understand how simple cognitive processes are generated by the interaction of neurons.
" To achieve this, the monkeys, which are provided by the German Primate Center in Göttingen, are first trained in various "attention tasks," being rewarded
with fruit juices for performing correctly.
The next step is to surgically open a trepanation a few millimeters in diameter in the monkey's skull, which allows for insertion of "hair fine" electrodes into the brain.
The monkey is then fitted with a titanium cap over the trepanation.
Dr Kreiter said that the surgery is done with anaesthesia and is similar to brain surgery on humans. The next step is to monitor the brain while the monkey performs
tasks. After five to 10 years the monkey is then killed with an overdose of anaesthetics and its brain is examined, he said. Dr Kreiter did not dispute the fact that his research was long term but said that a better understanding of the brain is necessary to open the door to potential treatments for Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, and other neurological or psychiatric diseases. "I think basic research of an organ that is not yet understood is an essential precondition for later clinical research of treatments."
Below article from morgenweb 19/12/2008 translated by google :
Bremer monkey experiments may initially go
Bremen (AP) - The controversial monkey experiments at the University of Bremen may initially be continued. This was decided by the Administrative Bremen on Friday (Az 5 V 3719/08).
The Institute for Brain Research, the experiments continue, but initially only until the Bremen government on a contradiction of the university decides. The SPD-led health department had a request for the continuation of attempts previously rejected.
With some hours of experiments on the macaques monkeys scientists explore the function of the brain. The basic aim of treating severe brain damage. Animal protectors see the trials as cruelty. The Administrative Court said that it was necessary to "further clarify the facts. Following that were difficult and have not been conclusively settled legal questions. When the dispute is about the question of which law prevails, the fundamental right to freedom of research or the constitutionally guaranteed welfare. The tests run since 1998.
"This is a stage victory, but the core issue has yet been decided," said a spokesman for the university. "It is now once again an intense confrontation with the subject."
In the health department would be not a stage victory for the university to speak and looks after the decision a "completely open process." The authority now wants an opinion the burden for the animals in experiments examined. "We have very specifically examine whether the animals suffer," said a spokeswoman of the health department. When in opposition to the researchers decided, was still unclear. "We see that we quickly and efficiently resolved."
In the experiments, the primates a hole drilled in the skull, through the tests at the electrodes in their brains will be shelved. At their head is with cement holder fastened with which the animals can be fixed. At the end of their animal life, they are killed so their brains can be investigated. According to the research director Andreas Kreiter is the burden on the animals' objectively relatively low."
The Federation for Human Rights assessed the animal only temporary permission as part of success. "We are relieved that the court Kreiter monkey experiments only for a short time allowed", said the association chairman Kurt Simons with. The President of the German Animal Welfare, Wolfgang Apel, stated: "It is highly regrettable that the suffering of the monkeys at the University of Bremen now but still has no end."
19th December 2008
original article in german:
any news/info about the case will be appreciated
please remember about the petition:
Stop Animal Testing and Abuse in DPZ- German Primate Cente
Animal Experiments at Dartmouth College
Read the article: Animal Experiments at Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755 USA
(603) 646-1110 (voice)
Dartmouth College Animal Use Policy :