Let Felix be the Last
In 2006, Oxford University allowed cameras into its laboratory to film Felix, a monkey scheduled to undergo invasive surgery on his brain and a long succession of tests. We at PETA were deeply affected by the plight of this small, lonely animal in his cage, unaware of the horrors ahead. We campaigned for Felix to be released to a sanctuary that we had found for him. Sadly, in 2007, we learned from Oxford that Felix was dead - killed routinely at the end of the experiments conducted on him. No television cameras were there.
Our campaign was about more than one monkey, however, and Felix's tormented life and premature death only inspire us to work even harder to prevent more animals from suffering as he did.
Felix was used in a sequence of experiments lasting a year. He was trained to perform repetitive movements and then had electrodes surgically implanted in his brain. Following this, Felix was deliberately brain-damaged to create the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. After that, the effects on his brain and ability to move were measured in more tests, and then he was killed. For a year, this sensitive, bewildered animal was subjected to escalating abuses: deprivation, manipulation, invasive surgery, disability and eventually death. The official licence permitting this work allowed the highest level of suffering legally permitted in the UK - what is clinically called "substantial severity".
It is too late to save Felix, but it isn't too late to save others. As part of our ongoing campaign, we have forced Oxford to reveal information about the experiments on Felix that they wanted to keep secret - in fact, it is information of a kind never released to the public in the UK before.
There is also a golden opportunity to help animals in laboratories before us right now. The European Union is reviewing its law on animal experiments - a law that controls the fate of more than 12 million animals every year. A motion in the European Parliament in 2006 called for measures to end experiments on primates, and after a sustained campaign by many organisations, including PETA, it was signed by a majority of MEPs. This was an inspiring demonstration of reason and compassion by politicians and a sign that campaigning pressure works. However, it is vital that we transform that goodwill into action. The new law is now passing through the complex European legislative process, and PETA is working hard to gain as much for primates and every other animal as we can. Please support us by taking the action below. Felix's sad, lonely and needless death has to count for something. We must remember him as we work to help thousands like him.
You Can Help - PETA is calling on the UK government to do all in its power to ensure that the new EU law stops as much animal suffering as possible. Please write to the Home Secretary to ask him to fight for animals in the European negotiations on the new law.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation
PO Box 36678
London SE1 1YE
+44 (0)20 7357 9229
+44 (0)20 7357 0901 (fax)
Info@peta.org.uk (general enquiries)