Primatologist Group Condemns Progress for Science’s Actions

The American Society of Primatologists is a scientific and educational organization whose membership includes many of the most distinguished primatologists in the world. These individuals have backgrounds in field research, primate ecology, behavior and preservation, zoological parks and biomedical and psychobiological research. Their collective voice represents the most powerful point of view from the primatological community on issues of non-human primate welfare, care and maintenance.

It should be noted that, despite their diverse backgrounds and individual perspectives on the involvement of non-human primates in research, this organization has been forceful in condemning the tactics of animal rights activists who use terror and threats to end the work. This organization has taken a strong position twice in the past in response to the attacks perpetrated by the animal rights extremist community against biomedical researchers (here and here).

In response to the activities of a Los Angeles animal rights groups, which has including terroristic threats, depraved home demonstrations and endless lies and misinformation, this group has come forwards to again urge the end to the use of these tactics to end the involvement of non-human primates in biomedical and behavioral research. Their statement (found here) is quoted below:

The American Society of Primatologists supports the humane and ethical use of nonhuman primates in research, including biomedical research, and has made strong statements to this effect in the past ( ). As a scientific society with a strong educational mission, the American Society of Primatologists applauds and supports efforts to educate the public about scientific research, rational discussion about the value of, and ethics associated with, animal research, and attempts to foster humane animal research. Recently, the research community and its supporters at UCLA have taken pro-active steps to address the violence that has been directed at them by radical groups that resort to unlawful means or violence under the pretense of animal protection. We believe that harassment of scientists in their homes and destruction of property is reprehensible and does nothing to contribute to science, animal welfare, or serious dialogue about animal research. Thus, we support those at UCLA who have bravely chosen to stand against these tactics and to continue the research that serves the public’s interest in medical and scientific progress. More broadly, we again affirm our opposition to the use of violence and affirm our support for scientists and their staff and students everywhere who are the targets of violence, harassment, and intentional misrepresentation of their work.

I want to personally thank the primatologists at ASP for their voice of support in this difficult time. They make it clear the tactics being used by extremists in Los Angeles and elsewhere are never acceptable and do not serve the cause of furthering the welfare and care of non-human primates.

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