Monkey business

February 28, 1997

(Photograph) - Monkey business: A group of academics who oppose scientific experiments on great apes has won support for its campaign to change the law. Led by Reading University postgraduate research fellow David Pearson, the Great Ape Project persuaded MP Tony Banks to table a bill in the Commons this week prohibiting certain experimental or other scientific procedures being conducted on great apes.

According to Dr Pearson, great apes, including orangutans, chimpanzees and gorillas, are highly intelligent, able to feel pain, to remember and to anticipate events. He says current law does very little to protect these primates and, even though they have not been used experimentally for many years in Britain, the group wishes to preempt future attempts to do so, particularly for BSE research.

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