Happy Endings

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated 10 September 2011

This extraordinary video captures the joyous moment when 10 chimps were freed after 30 years without seeing sunlight — many of those years spent in the confines of a medical research laboratory where they were used as test subjects.

These animals will now live out their lives at the Gut Aiderbichl Sanctuary in Austria. But sadly happy endings such as this are still rare.

Every year millions of animals are forced to spend their lives confined to laboratories, often undergoing invasive, painful and even lethal tests.

Oftentimes animal experimentation fails to yield results with any relevance to humans. The chimps in this video spent years as HIV test subjects — many were infected with the HIV virus and injected with numerous vaccines. Yet none of them actually developed AIDS — a common and fruitless outcome with AIDS research in chimps and one of the reasons many scientists now acknowledge that chimpanzees are unsuitable for AIDS studies. [1]

Animal experimentation is increasingly recognised as unreliable and inhumane, with many scientists looking to safer, non-animal alternatives. But there is still a long way to go. In Australia, medical testing on animals is still prevalent, affecting millions of animals including primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, and mice annually. Australia is also home to three government-funded primate breeding facilities — specifically for research. And while the Australian Government continues to permit the importation of primates for research, animal testing in Australia also supports the international trade in primates for research, which undercover investigations have revealed to underpin the brutal practice of capturing infant primates from the wild (despite laws against such acts). [2]

You can help

  1. Ask the Australian Government to impose an immediate ban on the importation of primates for research. Please send a polite message to:
    The Hon. Tony Burke MP
    Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population & Communities
    PO Box 6022
    House of Representatives
    Parliament House,
    Canberra ACT 2600
    Email: Tony.Burke.MP@aph.gov.au
    The Hon. Nicola Roxon MP
    Minister for Health & Ageing
    House of Representatives
    Parliament House
    Canberra ACT 2600
    E-mail: Nicola.Roxon.MP@aph.gov.au
  2. Make sure your donations aren’t funding animal testing. Click here to find out which medical charities DON’T fund tests on animals.
  3. Fight animal tests every day by pledging to choose cosmetics and consumer products that are not tested on animals.

[1] http://www.mrmcmed.org/aids.html
[2] http://www.aahr.org.au/campaigns/ban-primates