Neuroscientist Flees To China, Where Acceptance Of Primate Research Is ‘Much Higher’

The German lab of a prominent neuroscientists was targeted by animal rights activists. The entire lab is now heading to China, where they claim they will be freer to pursue their work on monkeys. The new facility in Shanghai, will imprison and exploit as many as 6000 nonhuman primates.
 

Nikos Logothetis will co-direct a new International Center for Primate Brain Research in Shanghai, where he will be moving the first few members of his lab in the upcoming months. The Chinese institute is now constructing a facility that will imprison and exploit as many as 6000 non-human primates.

The acceptance of research on non-human primates is much higher in China than in Europe.

Logothetis says he and his lab will be freer to pursue their work on monkeys, as the acceptance of research on non-human primates is much higher in China than in Europe, by both the public and the authorities.

China has made considerable recent investment in non-human primate research. According to Stefan Treue, the director of the German Primate Center, the move by Logothetis and his team is evidence that it is paying off.

Another major reason for the German lab’s move to China was their encounter with animal rights activists, and the ensuing events.

His frustration with these events and the negative German attitude toward animal research, fuelled his move to China.

Logothetis spent nearly 2 decades implanting electrodes in the brains of macaque monkeys, before shocking undercover footage of his lab was revealed, demonstrating blatant animal mistreatment. The video depicted an animal with blood on their head and another lame and vomiting. The accused claimed the video was staged.

In 2017 a prosecutor charged Logothetis and two members of his lab for ‘waiting too long to euthanise monkeys that were ill’, and therefore with violating animal protection law. Logothetis was removed from directly overseeing animal research, but in 2018 all charges against him and his colleagues were dropped. Still, his frustration with these events and the negative German attitude toward animal research, fuelled his move to China.

A cruel and archaic practice

Vivisection is a cruel and unnecessary practice whose banishment is long overdue. Every single year in the U.S., over 100 million innocent sentient beings endure pain, torment, and slaughter, in cosmetic, drug, chemical, food, classroom, and medical testing.

Copyright © Brian Gunn /IAAPEA

Beyond the abhorrent cruelty involved in the practice (which should be reason enough to banish it), is the overwhelming evidence that scientific testing simply makes for ‘bad science’. The National Institutes of Health report that 95% of drugs that pass non-human animal tests, fail in human subjects. With the advent of humane and effective modern methods, ranging from organoids and human-based micro-dosing, to sophisticated computer modelling and human-patient simulators, testing on sentient beings is nothing more than archaic and wilfully cruel.

Beyond the abhorrent cruelty involved in the practice […], is the overwhelming evidence that scientific testing simply makes for ‘bad science’.

What can we do to prevent this suffering and death from occurring? First and foremost, we can choose only to buy cruelty-free. Beyond that: we can speak to our alma maters and demand they cease animal experimentation; we can demand from corporations and our government agencies that they implement humane non-animal testing; and we can donate only to charities who do not participate in vivisection.

For more on animal testing and what can be done to stop it, check out the Animal Testing 101 blog post by PeTA.

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