Animal Experiments? Stop Using Chimpanzees Please

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Chimps

Photo Courtesy: animals.nationalgeographic.com

A new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) claims that Chimpanzees are “close relatives to humans on plant earth” and hence must not be used in labs for animal experiments. The report seeks more stringent rules for the use of chimps on labs. It explains that unless there are absolutely no more options available, the use of chimps in labs is wastage.

For years, it’s this closeness of the apes to the human genetics that has caused researchers to use apes for research. In fact, it’s the experimentation on apes that have led to the development of hepatitis B vaccine. Apes were event sent to space.  Yet, it’s unethical and unfair to do so, the report claims.

It further explains that only when the use of chimps could possibly lead to shattering breakthroughs that could prevent debilitating human lives, and in circumstances where harmless human trails cannot be conducted, should a possibility such as using chimps for experiments can be considered.

The report also advised the National Institutes of Health that Chimpanzees are to be considered for behavioral analysis, emotional tests, mental health, etc., only when there isn’t any other way to make that happen or in the case of complete absence of alternatives such as fair human trails.

Further, the report seeks to explain that scientific research as moved beyond using Chimps. Also, it propagates the idea of allowing more time for researchers to find alternatives, and consider other “recombinant technologies” for carrying out the research work.

In some cases, Chimpanzees might still be needed, according to the report, such as for areas of research based on monoclonal antibody therapy and the development of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection vaccine.

In all other cases, the National Institutes of health have been implored to look into alternatives and obviate the need to use Chimpanzees for animal experiments. On NY Daily news, it’s been reported that the U.S Government is now considering adoption of strict limits – on the recommending of the aforementioned report – to use Chimpanzees in medical research. Some motion is already seen led by GlaxoSmithKline, which already adopted a policy of not using apes, including Chimpanzees, for research purposes.

 

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