By Miriam Wells
July 7, 2015
"Of course it's pitiful for the monkeys. Everyone feels the same — you see it and you don't want it. But the point is if you want something different then you have to make something different. It doesn't happen overnight."
Speaking to VICE News, Jeffrey Bajramovic, a scientist from the Biomedical Primate Research Centre (BPRC) in Holland, was refreshingly honest. What happens to the monkeys tested on inside the center — a not for profit laboratory which is the largest facility of its kind in Europe, housing around 1,500 primates — is horrible. Those sent for experimentation suffer pain and distress, sometimes severe, in studies that sometimes last for months, before ending their lives on an autopsy table.
But the tests they undertake contribute to the understanding of and development of vaccines and treatments for some of the world's most deadly and prevalent diseases. And in a grim paradox, as Bajramovic pointed out, the captive primates are also contributing to the development of alternative research methods that scientists can use so that ultimately, they don't have to test on animals at all.
It's a messy and emotional ethical dilemma that VICE News came face to face with when we gained rare access to the BPRC to see just what happens inside.
The entire article is here.
WARNING: There is a graphic and disturbing (to me) video embedded within the article.