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Tests on non-human primates: legal requirements Huntingdon Life Sciences

Huntingdon Life Sciences is a major European contract testing laboratory, conducting toxicological (safety) tests on behalf of a range of clients who include manufacturers of drugs, chemicals, and other products. As mentioned earlier, regulatory testing represents approximately 70% of the 10,000 primates used in European laboratories each year, it is therefore important to study this sector of the animal testing industry (see Investigation section).

Tests on non-human primates: legal requirements

The use of primates in laboratories can be placed into two broad categories: commercial and regulatory testing (toxicology, also called safety tests), ‘regulatory’ are standardised and required for permission to be given for a product to be sold on the market, and academic (or fundamental) research, which is varied in nature and includes a range of experiments in the fields of biology, neurology, biochemistry, physiology, psychology and more. There are no specific legal requirements for the use of primates in regulatory testing. European Council Directive 2001/83/EC requires two mammalian species to be used in regulatory testing, one of which should be other than a rodent6. Like dogs, non-human primate species are therefore used at the end of the testing strategy.

The UK’s Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA) is the legislation that brings Directive 86/609/EEC into effect in the UK. The UK Home Office issues a Code of Practice for the Housing and Care of Animals used in Scientific Procedures, under the authority of the Act. The UK requires that primates should only be used if no other species is suitable or practicable, and also that “any use of non-human primates must be specifically justified”. The Home Office emphasises that the criteria for selection of the second species include regulatory, scientific and ethical requirements7.

It is of concern that regulatory tests conducted by contract testing laboratories, on behalf of clients such as drug

A long way from home: A monkey recently imported from Vietnam inside the HLS J06 stock colony.

Profile for Animal Defenders International

Primate Testing in Europe  

A report on the use of primates in regulatory testing in a typical European commercial testing laboratory

Primate Testing in Europe  

A report on the use of primates in regulatory testing in a typical European commercial testing laboratory

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