Last week, the Dutch Parliament passed a motion supported by all parties asking Government to investigate completely phasing out non-human primate research at the Biomedical Primate Research Centre (BPRC) and other research centres.
In 2014, non-human primates accounted for less than 0.05% of animals used for scientific purposes in the Netherlands; yet non-human primate research plays an important role in developing medicines, combating infectious diseases and treating severe illnesses. Parliament acknowledges this, and therefore asks the Government to ensure that such research can still optimally take place, while phasing out non-human primate research as soon as possible under those circumstances.
The current motion is passed just months after the Ministry of Economic Affairs announced the support of a fund to stimulate the development of animal-free alternative methods; the Dutch government aims to be a world leader in alternatives by 2025. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science will send a letter to Parliament in mid-May outlining the members of an independent commission of inquiry and the planned time frame in which the investigation is to take place.
The Biomedical Primate Research Centre has been subject to consistent campaigning by animal rights activists. The BPRC opened its doors to Vice News in 2015, when they were the subject of the documentary Inside the Monkey Lab.