Story and photo by Larry Vogel
Local animal rights supporters are targeting an Edmonds-based agent whose business is supplying Macac monkeys for scientific research.
A series of picketing and leafleting events are being held in front of the office of Paris NHP (which stands for non-human primates) located at the corner of Fourth and Dayton in downtown Edmonds.
“We are here to bring awareness to the citizens of Edmonds that one block off of Main Street, Paris NHP is dealing in lives by selling monkeys into vivisection,” said Tim Sage, animal rights advocate and organizer of the protest.
In an earlier interview, Dr. William R. Morton, co-owner of Paris NHP, explained that the company is an exclusive agent for the Indonesian-based P.T. Wanara. Morton’s company connects customers directly with Wanara, which then ships research animals directly to the various research and other facilities.
“The animals are all bred at the Bogor Agricultural University primate center in Bogor, Indonesia,” he said. “They are bred specifically for research. Indonesian law prohibits using captured animals for these purposes, and forbids shipping wild animals out of the country.”
Paris NHP deals almost exclusively in Pig-Tailed Macacs (Macaca nemestrina), which are used extensively in research on the AIDS virus. “This animal’s reaction to the AIDS virus is almost indistinguishable from that of humans,” Morton said. “It is the gold standard for HIV research, and much of the progress we have made against AIDS would not have happened without this research.”
But the protesters have a different take on this.
“Despite what some may tell you, these experiments are not saving lives, are unnecessary, and are overwhelmingly cruel and inhumane” said Tim Sage. “Animals are not humans, and data generated from animal experiments does not apply to people. Research shows that nine out of 10 drugs that pass animal testing fail in human clinical trials.”
“In the end, these are kind, thinking, sentient beings,” said Sage. “Why harm them when you don’t need to?”