Nearly one-in-ten experiments performed on monkeys in the UK offer no practical or social benefit of any kind, a review of experiments over 10-year period revealed.
The panel, commissioned by the UK’s biomedical science funding agencies, reviewed experiments carried out on 3,000 monkeys and on other non-human primates states that majority of the experiments had no significant medical impact, but it added that the work was of good quality and that the practice should go on.
According to the review, experiments on monkeys helped scientists in developing a vaccine for polio and an effective deep brain stimulation treatment for Parkinson's disease.
But, experiments on vision and some other areas led nowhere and should never have been carried out.
Speaking on the topic, eminent Cambridge zoologist Prof. Sir Patrick Bateson said, “In my view, funding of work on non-human primates should not be continued if no effort has been made to demonstrate the potential medical and social benefits of the work.”
Experiments on chimpanzees and some apes have already been banned in the UK. But, animal welfare campaigners do not favour any use of primates in scientific research.
Recently, scientists warned that researchers could risk creating Apes-like monkeys capable of speaking and thinking like humans unless new ethical boundaries weren’t established for experiments on animals.