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Yearning for freedom

Dear Editor,

The three baboons who escaped from the RPA hospital in Sydney have shone a light on a dark and repulsive secret – the shadowy torture chambers of so-called “research centres”. Very little information is ever allowed to escape the high walls of these places, but it seems that animals from the National Health and Medical Research Council baboon colony in Wallacia are bred for experiments, including electric shock studies.

Reports in 2016 spoke of "Frankenstein-like surgical experiments" being done with taxpayer funding that may have included a kidney transplant from a pig to a baboon. Experiments that have come to light include marmosets being used at the University of Sydney to take electrophysiological readings from their brains before they were killed and had their eyes removed and their retinas dissected. In a separate experiment on pregnant baboons, a mother was killed by accident leaving an orphaned baby, and another baby baboon died as a result of testing.

Baboons and other primates deserve to be free, but the human war on nature has chosen to take them prisoner and carry out experiments that in many cases will achieve nothing except securing the next government grant. There are major anatomical, genetic, dietetic, environmental, toxic, and immune differences between monkeys - including baboons - and humans, making them inappropriate for use in studying human disease.

The baboons that escaped from RPA may have lived their whole lives in confinement but obviously, they still yearned for freedom. Let them go! We will find them a sanctuary home. Life in a cage is no life at all for a thinking, feeling, emotional being, human or baboon.

Desmond Bellamy
Special Projects Coordinator
PETA Australia
PO Box 2352
Byron Bay NSW 2481
0411 577 416