The Guardian, a U.K.-based newspaper, was recently “granted exclusive and unfettered access” to a super-secret primate testing facility at an undisclosed location and operated by the staff of an undisclosed university. This facility works on marmosets, drilling “tiny” holes in the monkeys’ skulls and injecting “minute” amounts of “liquid toxin.”
Basically, they—whoever they are—open monkeys’ heads up with a drill and pour in some poison. But hey, don’t worry about the monkeys—Guardian blogger James Randerson claims they aren’t “noticeably affected” by the holes and poison in their heads.
When James Randerson was shown around a primate laboratory (Report, May 31) did he ask why he was being shown this particular laboratory—and whether his “unfettered” access was the same as seeing what goes on in his absence? Undercover investigations into primate laboratories consistently reveal animal suffering far in excess of what he saw on this official tour, and the research conducted was itself far from typical—most monkeys in the UK are used in pharmaceutical toxicology research. Nor is the attitude of technicians or scientists the point. Whether they are or are not “caring”, monkeys don’t belong in cages, their brains are not ours to interfere with and this PR exercise was a cynical misrepresentation of a far uglier reality.
And if you’re actively searching for a reason to be seriously frustrated for the rest of the day, The Guardian was nice enough to post this audio slideshow in which the tiny monkeys cling to the bars of their cages. Listen closely for the bit about how research staff consider themselves “compassionate professionals”—aren’t you curious to know what their definition of a sadist is?Posted by Sean Conner