The Case for Phasing Out Experiments on Primates


  • Kathleen M. Conlee,

  • Andrew N. Rowan

  • Kathleen M. Conlee and Andrew N. Rowan, “The Case for Phasing Out Experiments on Primates,” Animal Research Ethics: Evolving Views and Practices,


Whether they realize it or not, most stakeholders in the debate about using animals for research agree on the common goal of seeking an end to research that causes animals harm. The central issues in the controversy are about how much effort should be devoted to that goal and when we might reasonably expect to achieve it. Some progress has already been made: The number of animals used for research is about half what it was in the 1970s, and biomedical research has reached the point where we can reasonably begin to envision a time when it could advance without causing harm to animals. With some effort and aggressive development of new biomedical research technologies, full replacement of animals in harmful research is within our grasp. The goal will not be reached all at once, however, and phasing out invasive research on all nonhuman primates should be the priority.