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Issue 16
MRC Baboons
Vet Council Continues to obfuscate
Local researchers question animal models
Does Dove give a Rats's *** ?
Proposed Code a 'Vivisector's Charter'
Who'll move the cheese ?
Enchantrix - now country-wide distribution
Vivisection retards medical progress
The compassionate Consumer
Dr Vernon's Casebook
Science Cafe
Hall of Fame
Top Quotes

ARCHIVE : Issue Ten


On the 22nd February 2002 it was freedom at last for the balance of the baboons rescued from the C.A.P.E. (Centre Africain Primatologie Experimentale). They had been rehabilitated at CARE (Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education) in the Northern Province, after CARE had obtained a court interdict and was awarded custody of them. The baboons were returned to the wild at a private farm in the Waterberg.
The animals, who had formed a troop during rehabilitation, all took off together and have thus far remained so. Their progress can be monitored as their backs have been marked with a harmless red dye. The release was made extra special by the attendance of former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. Rita Miljo, director of CARE, is believed to be the first person in the world successfully to rehabilitate, form into troops and release back into the wild, traumatised and orphaned baboons. SAAV, who funded the release, has been a long time supporter of CARE. In 1996 SAAV built a sanctuary at CARE for experimental baboons whose release SAAV had negotiated. The baboons had spent ten years in experimental cages at the National Centre for Occupational
Health in Johannesburg. (See: Does our government serve a French Master?)


Most people feel that animal experimentation is cruel and wrong, but when confronted with choosing “your child or your dog” the same people are at a loss for a convincing argument against it. Not so Belgianborn veterinarian André Menache who, as president of the international London-based Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine, wages a constant war from his Kfar Saba home to show that, scientifically, vivisection and the use of animals in experiments in general is useless and even counter-productive. As a young veterinary student in South
Africa in the 1970’s, he was always stymied when confronted with the cliché of having to choose between a child and a dog, says Menache. “It motivated me to go and look for scientific arguments rather than the moral and ethical objections that were the only ones heard then.” After 25 years of research, Menache and his organization have found a lot of the answers. They base their opposition to animal experiments and animal-to-human transplants on well-argued scientific principles, particularly species differences and the dangers of animal
organs, complete with bacteria and viruses, being transplanted into humans. The organization’s Web site (http: / gives convincing answers to the most frequently asked questions, such as whether penicillin and the polio vaccine benefited from animal experimentation. “Not at all!” they proclaim, maintaining it slowed down
and side-tracked the development of these drugs. According to Menache and his fellow scientists, Alexander Fleming observed penicillin killing bacteria in a Petri dish in 1929. He gave it to bacteria-infected rabbits, but it was ineffective. (We now know, apparently, that rabbits rapidly excrete penicillin in their urine so it doesn’t work for them.) Disappointed, Fleming set the drug aside for a decade, as the rabbits had “proved” it was useless and only used it again years later in desperation, on a patient near death, achieving a “miracle” cure. The rest is history, and Fleming attributed his discovery to serendipity. With similar reasoning, Menache attacks
the development of the polio vaccine and insulin as having been hindered rather than helped by animal experimentation. He also has ready answers to questions on drug safety without animals, alternatives to animals, and medical training without animals. As well as founding the Israel Horse Protection Society, back in 1983, Menache founded the Israeli Anti-vivisection Society and was its first chairman for more than five years.
He began to read widely and was greatly influenced by Hans Ruesch’s Slaughter of the Innocents, which started him on his search for scientific answers. A visit to Israel 15 years ago by famed Italian pathologist Prof. Pietro Croce, one of the fathers of the scientific movement against animal experimentation, gave him the
boost he needed to begin his campaign, and gradually his ideas are seeping into local consciousness.
The arrival of Henry Heimlich - he of the maneuvre - in 1990 gave Menache just the right publicity he needed for his cause. Heimlich is famous for his medical inventions, including a one-way valve for chest injuries used in the
Israeli Defence Force (IDF.) “He is credited with having saved more lives than any other American,” says Menache. “He’s vehemently opposed to animal experiments, and spoke on the subject at a congress which I co-organized. Through him, I was able to make contact with the chief medical officer of the IDF.” Together Menache and Heimlich persuaded the army to stop using dogs in the training of battlefield paramedics, and the ruling became effective in 1992. Encouraged, Menache persuaded the IDF to use cadavers rather than live dogs in the training of military doctors in advanced trauma life support. Today dogs are no longer used if cadavers are available - another success for Menache and his group. “It shows that if you put your mind to the problem and provide viable alternatives, you can do away with the use of animals altogether,” he says. “It also it proves you can take on a sacred cow like the IDF and get it to change its training methods if you really want to.” An even greater achievement was the amendment to a Nuremberg-inspired clause in the Helsinki Declaration of 1964 to the effect that before human experimentation could be done, it had to be done on animals. In 2000 the
World Medical Association adopted part of the amendment and agreed that doctors who did not want to do so, could refuse to experiment on animals. Menache considers this one of their greatest achievements. Recently two military doctors refused to take part in animal experiments in the army, even though it affected their promotion
prospects. Another breakthrough is that Israel has banned vivisection in schools - one of only three countries in the world to do so. Religiously traditional, Menache realizes that stopping animal experimentation is a publicrelations battle based not on being sentimental about animals but showing that it is counterproductive.
Nevertheless, he says he could never accept that God would make the torture of animals the only way to medical progress. Source: Jerusalem Post: FEATURES P.4 18.01.2002


Chemical warfare expert Wouter ‘Dr. Death’ Basson told the Pretoria High Court of his experiment on baboons, which also caused him to spend three days in hospital. “Baboons were placed inside a plastic hut in cages. A number of dangerous new generation tear gas grenades were placed inside the hut. We watched from outside to
see how the baboons reacted. At one stage the smoke became too thick so that we could not see. I suited up, put on a gas mask and went inside. The first baboon sat there eating quite calmly. The second one gave my gas mask one look, did a double somersault and defecated all over his cage. The third one also sat eating. I was very angry. I thought there was something wrong with the grenade. In a fit of temper, I pulled off my gas mask and
threw it onto the ground. I fell down with the gas mask. Luckily, Mijburgh was outside and could drag me out. I spent three days in hospital. The baboons did not react at all to the irritating effect (of the teargas) on the
lungs and eyes,” he said.

It is an anomaly that some ‘animal lovers’ are enraged by the idea of cats and dogs being experimented on, while the thought of experimentation on baboons and monkeys does not elicit the same emotions. This is at odds with the increasing world-wide recognition that primates are sentient beings that display high levels of intelligence,
have complex social, emotional and family lives and are capable of suffering. Indeed, there are moves towards a
consideration of a ban on the use of all primates in research. Social awareness and accompanying deceptive
behaviour are taken by experts in animal consciousness as some of the defining aspects of a high self-aware and complex mind, not least because they seem to require a sense of the other mind as well as one’s own. In his book The Singing Gorilla: understanding animal intelligence, George Page describes various incidents which illustrate such deceptive behaviour. One such incident was when a female baboon sneaked away from the alpha
male in her troop and mated with a young male behind a rock, unseen by the alpha. Moreover, she peeked out from behind the rock, apparently to make certain that the alpha male remained oblivious to her infidelity.
Grief is referred to as a higher-order emotion and its presence in the animal kingdom reinforces the realisation of psychological continuities between humans and other animals. The experiencing of grief by primates has been well documented. George Page describes how, during the filming of Japanese Macaques by researchers some years ago, one of the macaques gave birth to a stillborn baby. The mother would not let go of it. At night she would climb into a particular tree, hold the dead baby in her arms and emit the most blood-curdling scream.
She did this for three days and three nights. On the fourth day she put the body of her baby on the jungle floor and disappeared into the jungle herself. In South Africa, vivisector Chris Barnard described how the mate of a
chimp, whose heart was used for a transplant, was inconsolable and cried for days afterwards. Barnard resolved
‘never to experiment on so sensitive an animal again.’ In 1990 more than one hundred baboons were slaughtered following their discovery, at the CAPE experimental station in Mpumalanga, in an emaciated condition. Rita Miljo, director of the CARE Rehabilitation centre who was at the scene, describes the event: ‘When one baboon was darted, we brought her out. Even though she was drugged and dying she clung to her one month old
baby, stroking its head. As she was going she seemed to realise it was the end. Her eyes looked at me. She seemed to say to me, ‘take my baby, look after her well.’ The experience upset Rita so much that she had
to be treated in hospital for two days. ‘I will never forget it,’ she said. The baby was saved and cared for by Rita until its release together with a troop of other baby baboons. Does it not behove us, therefore, to consider primates as individuals capable of intense suffering?

by Beatrice Wiltshire
The sun shines bright and the wind blows free
When you`re at home in the Wild.
The sun shines bright and the wind blows free
When you are Nature`s Child.
But the eight baboons in the dark dank rooms
Locked in a tiny cage
Cross their arms, rock to and fro
And scream in despair and rage
So bang on your cage and scream in rage
But you are not insane
That honour devolves on the ones outside
Who torture you for gain
In the next door room the Devils of Doom
Are stained with the blood of the hearts
Of the friends you saw just the night before
Now in bottles of body parts
Cry not for the baby you left behind
When caught in a trapping spree
`Tis better he`s there in another`s care
For he at least is free
For the sun shines bright and the wind blows free
When you`re alone in the Wild
The sun shines bright and the wind blows free
When you are Nature`s Child


The recent rehabilitation and release of the ‘nuclear’ baboons rescued from the secret Mpumalanga laboratory in the bush, brings to mind a similar occasion from the past. In 1990, in the last days of the apartheid era and at the time when a number of South African Defence Force front companies were closed down or liquidated, the world was outraged when more than 100 baboons and monkeys were found dead or dying from starvation in rows of small wire cages at a secret ‘research’ centre in the Mpumalanga bush, close to the SA Air Force’s Hoedspruit
airbase. The animals had been caught in the wild and had then been left without food or care for months by the French operators of a shady operation with the grand title: Centre Africain Primatologie Experimentale (CAPE).
To discourage criticism, the name of a wellknown French scientist, Professor Roger du Boisterselin, head of the histology and embryology laboratory at La Pitie Salpetriere hospital in Paris was mentioned in connection
with the project which, it then emerged, had been clandestinely operating without any licences or wildlife permits, since 1985. But the eminent professor’s involvement in the vile project could not be confirmed - he had died in
1988. The official ‘owner’ of the premises, M. Michel Bailly-Maistre, confirmed that R3 million had been invested in the project but then refused to say who he represented. He was never called upon in court to explain either. Instead he was allowed to walk free after paying a risible admission of guilt fine of R200. Suspicions about (French) state funding and the sinister military connections of the place were, if anything, confirmed by the
extraordinary reluctance of the Nat government to take any action. The French Embassy remained tight lipped.
There is also a possible link to the Roodeplaat Research Laboratory (RRL). According to documentation in SAAV’s possession (a report written to Professor Coubrough at Onderstepoort by the veterinary surgeon at CAPE, Dr. Pappin) in 1992 CAPE was visited by Dr. George Gaenssler and Dr . James Davies from the RRL, as well as General Milhaud and Col. Mestreis from France. This report also speaks of ‘ongoing liaison’ between
CAPE and RRL. In 1996 SAAV received documentary evidence that CAPE was supplying the French
military with baboons for warfare and nuclear testing. Baboons were sent to CRSSA De Mestreis (Grenoble) and Sanofi Research Laboratories in France. This was done with special intervention by and specific instructions
from Pallo Jordan (then Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism) who flagrantly ignored legitimate provincial procedures and a provincial moratorium in the Northern Province on the export of primates.
CAPE’s continued existence is therefore tied directly to present government intervention. One also questions why CAPE continues to survive to this day and, indeed, how they can make a living from exporting 60 - 100 primates per year, which is what the records show. How can a sophisticated laboratory, in which apparently millions have been invested, make a profit from this and, from a financial point of view, justify its existence?
Perhaps it’s time the S.A. government came clean regarding their professed commitment to transparency and accountability.


Stars, such as Joanna Lumley, Annie Lennox and Sean Hughes, have vowed to boycott Iams veterinary products. This comes in the wake of the controversial multinational consumer products company, Procter &
Gamble, running into more trouble on the eve of Crufts Dog Show. It has emerged that the corporation issued inaccurate animal testing policy statements to the RSPCA during talks prior to a national joint promotion in
supermarkets, such as Tesco’s. Procter & Gamble’s efforts to mass market IAMS, the pet food company it acquired in September 1999, in the UK were dealt a severe blow when Uncaged Campaigns uncovered documents describing laboratory experiments on 460 cats and dogs supported by the Iams Company. A front page story in the Sunday Express (27 May 2001), based on Uncaged Campaigns’ work, publicised the
horrific research. Many of the animals endured painful or invasive experiments, which were often lethal. The RSPCA vowed to sever its ties with Iams when this information emerged. In a letter responding to Uncaged
Campaigns’ concerns, dated 22 January 2002, the RSPCA acknowledged that, contrary to Iams denials, the “allegations” which appeared in the Express “were indeed well-founded.” The Society goes on to describe the Procter & Gamble policy statement “we do not use cats and dogs in research or testing for non-drug
products” as ‘deficient’. Elaborating, a RSPCA spokesperson confirmed: “Had we been aware of their research we would never have been involved in promoting their products. Once we were aware, we stopped.” Uncaged Campaigns protested outside Crufts (7-10 March) in opposition to Iams’ animal testing practices and to lobby the Kennel Club to bar Iams from being a sponsor of the show. Dan Lyons, director of Uncaged Campaigns, explains: “We’ve been appalled not only by Iams’ cruelty to animals, but also by the misleading spin the company issues to create a smokescreen around its cruel treatment of animals. At the end of the day they are being undone by their own spin, and it’s quite gratifying that the truth is winning this battle. Iams is now in crisis - Crufts will be very uncomfortable for them indeed.” Uncaged Campaigns will be presenting a petition to the Kennel Club at the end of Crufts requesting a ban on Iams and a firm anti-cruelty policy. Source: News Release: Uncaged Campaigns


There was a buzz of conversation at the Science Café, established at Roodeplaat in the Interests of Better Science. The question was, did apes evolve from humans, or did humans devolve from apes. ‘Well, that depends,’ deliberated the Erudite Owl, on whether they are capable of deception and grief.’ ‘Of course they are capable of deception,’ twittered the Canary, ‘they say they love you and then they eat you.’ ‘But are they capable of grief?’ asked Vulture No. 1. ‘Only in autobiographies,’ replied Vulture No. 2. ‘I suppose it also
depends on their A.Q,’ pondered the Erudite Owl. ‘What is A.Q.?’ asked the Little Bird who had just flown in.
‘A.Q. stands for Animal Quotient,’ responded the Erudite Owl. ‘It means you having intelligence and compassion.’ ‘I thought A.Q. meant Avarice Quotient,’ said the Canary. ‘Oh,’ hesitated the Sparrow, ‘so that
must be why they experiment on animals.’


The University of Cambridge has said that research into life-threatening conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases will be “deeply damaged” following the rejection of its proposals to build a new animal research laboratory. But animal rights activists claim the research is scientifically flawed and causes
unnecessary harm to animals. The proposed centre near the village of Girton, north of Cambridge, has attracted
controversy, with local council officials arguing it will attract the violent protests witnessed against the local bioscience company Huntingdon Life Sciences. Cambridgeshire police said the site would attract demonstrations
which would “result in road blockages and a serious danger to public safety.” Source: The Guardian 6th February 2002


Just over a year ago, the notorious animal testing lab, Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) was pushed to the edge of bankruptcy when the Royal Bank of Scotland cancelled a 22.5million pounds loan. This action came in the wake of revelations of extreme cruelty and abuse of animals. An undercover film showed 4 month old puppies being punched and thrown against the wall. Technicians were filmed laughing at and mocking a tied down frightened monkey, while squirting lubricant into his mouth. Since January 2001, Stephens Inc. had been the focus of an intense pressure campaign by the leading organisation in the campaign to close down HLS, the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), due to its role as the largest investor and primary financier of HLS. On
January 8th 2002 Stephens Inc. announced it would be selling all of its shares and debt investments in the beleaguered lab. This public announcement leaves HLS in its most precarious position to date. Its share price is
currently 1/1000th of a cent and its new shell company Life Sciences Research (LSR) is consequently unable to quote on any stock exchange. In the wake of this major victory, the SHAC has now called an end to its campaign against Stephens Inc.


During the year 2000 the British Union of Anti-Vivisectionists (BUAV) conducted an undercover investigation into the despicable trade in wild-caught baboons, from Tanzania, for international research laboratories. Their
investigators uncovered the suffering inherent in this cruel trade. Sometimes whole families, including suckling infants, were trapped in the wild and kept in most cruel conditions before being shipped off around the world for
vivisection. The appalling cruelty sparked an international postcard campaign, initiated by the BUAV. A supply of postcards has been sent to SAAV and we ask our members to join in this international campaign by completing and posting off the enclosed cards.

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