Activists Want to Buy Lab Monkeys From University

A group of activists in Canada want to buy monkeys from a university to prevent them from being killed in experiments.

There is a research proposal at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver to inject rhesus monkeys with chemicals that duplicate Parkinson’s disease, then kill the monkeys to dissect and analyze their brains.

A group of animal activists called Stop UBC Animal Research led by a researcher named Anne Birthistle want to purchase the monkeys from the university and turn them over to a sanctuary. Birthistle believes that animal research is unnecessary, saying that computer modeling technology and human tissue samples are the way forward in medical research.

John Hepburn of UBC says that the project, called Experiment LS91, has yet to be approved or funded. Hepburn is a chemical physicist and vice president of research for the university.

Birthistle’s group wants to launch an “adopt-a-monkey” campaign and raise money to buy all the monkeys at UBC.

Animal testing has come under constant fire in recent years as more evidence mounts that not only are the results of tests conducted on animals laughably inconsistent with later results of clinical tests on humans, but the research facilities that pull in millions of dollars in funding cannot even maintain bare minimum standards of care for the animals in their labs.

A veterinarian and former employee of a university animal testing lab in the U.S. described the funds that vivisectors receive as “addictive” and that only government regulation would move researchers away from animal testing into more progressive, reliable and less cruel methods of gathering information. There is simply too much money in animal testing for scientists to walk away.

As correct as Birthistle’s sentiments are, there seems to be an obvious flaw in the logic here. If she and her group are able to purchase the monkeys at UBC and the Parkinson’s study is later approved and funded, it seems entirely plausible that the university will simply purchase more monkeys to experiment on. 
If the university plays its cards right, it could in theory even make a profit if it agrees to sell the monkeys to Birthistle’s group – who are promising to pay “whatever it takes” – and charges them more than what they pay for monkeys from their supplier.

If buying all the monkeys at UBC guaranteed that no more monkeys would be experimented on there – or at the very least, they wouldn’t be used for this particular experiment – I think it would be a meaningful action. Realistically, however, it seems unlikely that the purchase of a few lab animals will bring about a paradigm shift in research techniques at the university.

Buying the monkeys seems more likely to simply put money in the coffers of the university and elect different monkeys for the horrors that these are narrowly escaping. A noble sentiment, but morally speaking, it’s six of one and a half-dozen of the other

One can only hope – no matter how obtuse it might seem – that this proposal and every proposal after it that calls for animal testing is denied funding and we can see the end of this horrifying injustice in our lifetime.

Related Stories: 

The Vivisection Scam (VIDEO)

University Vet Quits Over Animal Treatment

Animal Testing May Lose Funding in NIH Restructuring


Photo: Ssppeeeeddyy


Cindy C.
Cindy C7 years ago

oh my goodness this sort of thing should not be going on now grrrrrrr

Ally T.
A P7 years ago

Krystal H.,

In case you didn't know, the medical industry is also a multi-billion dollar industry and patients are their customers. Why do you think they push drug after drug after drug on you? Some vaccines and drugs have caused birth defects and child development problems. While you may think it's acceptable to conduct animal research, I implore you to take a couple of anatomy books and do a quick comparison. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to see that humans and animals are not anatomically similar. Sure, we share certain organs and traits, but it has been PROVEN again and again and again that animal research IS NOT VALID. Do your homework and your research before you deem animal lives to be expendable. Let's see what you think if you were to be the one cutting open an animal and hearing their cries of agony, and see the fear in their eyes. If you don't slaughter your own food, you have nothing to say.

Peggy Peters
Peggy Peters8 years ago

It goes without saying, the facility will purchase more monkeys however buying the monkeys out from under them is a good tactical approach. It sends a clear message: (as if it needed further explanation) QUIT using live animals in your teachings and experiments!
On a more serious note: it is necessary to find a more proactive solution -- one with more permanence.
I love hearing about people fighting for the animals!!!!

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle8 years ago

I agree with the author -- they'll just buy more monkeys.

We need a paradigm shift in people's thinking , that experimenting on animals is obhorrent and should never be done. The "addicted" researchers will just have to be weaned away from their addiction to another form of research. (If I were Queen for day)

Barb F.
Barb F8 years ago

ALL animal experimentation needs to be halted permanently, should not have ever began, anything that takes these innocent monkeys out of danger I advocate for the cause. If you want to know if something is effective on a human, test it on a human, there are alot of death row inmates taking up space, oxygen, costing to much to keep, so let them serve a purpose.

Mervi R.
Mervi R8 years ago

I think all animal testing is wrong, plain and simple.

Mara S.
Mara S8 years ago


I always wonder about the points you just made. Many physicians wonder if all the experiments are still necessary in 2011. MANY think they are not.

That's all. I'm looking into the loving eyes of my very smart dog (!) and I just can't imagine him being tortured under any reason. I would like the necessary nightmare to stop. A lot of evil WAS stopped due to pressure. The scientists are good in finding new ways... if they don't get the easy way out.

It's about time. We, the "precious" humans are parasitic. We are going to destroy our host.

Krystal H.
Krystal H.8 years ago

While there are some exceptions to every rule, for the most part, scientists don't make a lot of money. If you take medication for allergies, if you give your dog flea / tick / heartworm medication, you know someone who's had hip replacement, you take or know someone who uses insulin, you take pain meds of any kind, you or someone you know has survived breast cancer, if your horses don't have ulcers, if you or your children have received any vaccinations of any kind, if your pets have received vaccinations of any kind, you or anyone you know has ever had a broken bone repaired, you had surgery and didn't wake up in the middle of it, if you've never had the measles, if anyone you know has survived bypass surgery, if you spay or neuter your pets, if you take vitamins....stop being a hypocrite and thank animal research.

Kelly Stephens
Kelly Stephens8 years ago

thanks for sharing

Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman8 years ago