Baboon incident brings call for greater transparency in Australian research

Media reaction to the escape of three research baboons, in Sydney, has highlighted the need for greater openness from the Australian biomedical community.

The monkeys, were part of a colony bred for research at a New South Wales government facility in Wallacia, managed by the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA).

However, the incident sparked surprise from some media outlets, that baboons were used in research, and animal activist groups accused researchers of secretiveness and called for a ban.

Malcolm France, a private consultant on laboratory animal care and management, told The Sydney Morning Herald: “I think we need to get better at talking about it so people can

make up their minds.”

Last year, a survey of Australian and New Zealand vets and technicians who care for animals, used in medical and veterinary research, showed that most believe scientific institutions should be more open about animal use.