Animal welfare groups have criticised the European Commission for promoting monkey research in a new preliminary opinion published by its Scientific Committee on Health Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER).

Scientists from Cruelty Free International and the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE) slammed the SCHEER report, which they said fails to address flaws evident in a 2009 report.

For instance, the 2009 SCHEER report was criticised by Cruelty Free International and other animal welfare groups for failing to look properly at the alternatives available to animal testing or the scientific value of using primates in experiments.

The report also contained unsubstantiated and poorly substantiated claimed of the benefits of money research.

“Advocates of monkey experiments will assert that this Opinion, like the Commission’s last, demonstrates that subjecting sensitive monkeys to cruel, invasive and often fatal research has some value for human medicine,” Dr Jarrod Bailey, Cruelty Free International Senior Research Scientist, said in a written statement. “In fact, the entire process is so seriously flawed as to render the current Opinion, like the last, almost worthless. Until a proper, balanced, independent, comprehensive and systematic review of many areas of monkey research is conducted, the Commission will always be supplied with poor quality misleading opinion-based evidence by those with vested interests in monkey research.”