Dutch lab used more monkeys in tests, 137 died last year

Golden lion tamarin monkeys (Picture: Apenheul). (Golden lion tamarin monkeys (Picture: Apenheul))

The Biomedical Primate Research Center (BPRC) in Rijswijk used 317 monkeys in its tests last year, compared to 95 in 2016. Last year 137 of these animals died, AD reports.

Ronald Bontrop, BPRC director, told AD that the increase is due the the fact that "a long-term experiment with tuberculosis was completed last year". According to him, the monkeys involved in this experiment have been tested on for some time, but were only included in the count of last year - the year in which the experiment finished.

The number of monkeys used as laboratory animals in the Netherlands declined every year since 2012. Last year was the first exception to that trend.

Tuesday is World Laboratory Animal Day. Animal Rights will hand 75 thousand signatures to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, calling for the number of experiments on animals to be reduced. The Dutch government previously stated that it wants to halve the number of experiments on animals by 2025, and thereby be a world leader in non-animal testing, according to NU.nl. 

Every year around 450 thousand experiments are carried out on animals in Dutch laboratories. Test animals include monkeys, mice, rats, dogs, cats and pigs, among others.