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Posted 1 November 2004
Most of the last chimpanzees used in European laboratory experiments are about to be released.
The Biomedical Primate Research Centre (BPRC) currently holds 112 chimpanzees, due shortly to be taken to a primate sanctuary in Spain. This follows the Dutch government's decision that chimpanzee experiments must end.
Unfortunately, however, not all of the animals will be released immediately. Six will continue to be used in hepatitis B tests over the next three years, despite the acknowledgement by the Dutch government that there is a very strong ethical case against using any chimpanzees in medical research.
There are still around 1500 other primates - mostly macaques, marmosets and tamarins - kept at the laboratory, who will be subjected to experiments.
Nevertheless, the progress marks a major victory for the Coalition to End Experiments on Chimpanzees in Europe.
For more information about the use of primates in medical research see our 2003 report, Monkeying Around With Human Health.