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Animal Rights Belgium protests against KU Leuven’s monkey testing

15:18 02/10/2020

KU Leuven’s experiments on monkeys are inhumane, says the Belgian branch of campaign group Animal Rights, which took part in a protest outside the Flemish university on Thursday.

“In 2019, the Flemish government lent nearly €2 million’s worth of taxes to KU Leuven to fund new experiments on monkeys, an action we firmly condemn,” said the association’s coordinator Jen Hochmuth.

The group says that in 2019 three new projects were started, where 12 rhesus monkeys were given electrodes in their skull in the name of research on primate brains. “The tests are very painful for the monkeys. These are horrible experiments,” Hochmuth said.

Animal Rights originally planned a march through the streets of the university town. But because of restrictions linked to the coronavirus pandemic, the association led a silent protest on Oude Markt, behind the university rector’s office.

“We are however satisfied at the level of participation and are planning to come back and protest every first Thursday of the month,” Hochmuth added. “We will not give up until all monkey experiments at the KU Leuven are stopped.”

The message on the group’s Facebook page is clear: “With our campaign we want to send a clear signal that brain experiments on monkeys are not necessarily evil, but pure evil!”

The next protest will take place from 13.00-15.00 on 5 November. 

KU Leuven, Belgium’s largest university, and one of the oldest and most prestigious in Europe, has not responded in reaction to the event.

Photo: Ine Gillis/Belga