A dedicated volunteer from Italy reached out to us to tell us about “Project Lightup”, involving painful experimentation on six live macaques. Their brains will be surgically operated on in order to make them blind as a means to study treatment for a form of blindness in humans. You’ll find a link to an online petition here:
Information at the link is in Italian since the research is taking place in Italy. You can use google translate to convert it to English. But, here is what our contact tells us about the research in English. She writes:
“Thanks for showing interest in our macaques.
If you go to the page of the petition “SALVIAMO I MACACHI DI TORINO” you will find a text in Italian that, translated by me into English, is the following:
LAV [Anti-Vivisection League] has made this petition and has directed the petition to Italian health minister Roberto Speranza.
When the macaques will wake up after the surgical procedure that will make them partially blind they will not understand what has happened to them. They will only feel much pain. When they will try and open their eyes, they will discover a terrible reality, they will not see well anymore.
The university of Torino is responsible for a new experiment during which 6 macaques will be surgically operated and made partially blind to study visual deficits in human beings.
The macaques will be first forced to recognize images almost every day for hours tied up on restraint chairs.
After this phase they will be made partially blind by a surgical procedure.
The surgical procedure on the brain, very invasive and painfull, will take place in autumn and the whole experiment will last for 5 years.
To stop this experiment we must act now.
This study will be led at the same time also on human volunteers: the research about new treatments for people with visual impairments has reached important results only thanks to experimentation on volunteers with visual impairments. And that’s because experiments on animals fail officially in over 95% of the cases (NCATS (US NIH). About the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. https://ncats.nih.gov/about). So the experiment on macaques, in addition to being ethically not acceptable, makes sense?
LAV a few months ago asked the Italian health minister to provide the protocol of the experiment with the macaques because citizens has the right to know the way 2 millions euros of public money given by the European commission will be used.
LAV asks the Italian health minister Roberto Speranza to stop the experiment “Lightup – turning the cortically blind brain to see” , to free the macaques and to transfer them in an animal shelter where they can be cared for by animal rights defenders associations.
Let’s save these 6 macaques from this cruel experiment! Help us, before it is too late.
I inform you that I have made this translation of the text of the petition from Italian into English.
My translation of the text of the petition has 1 difference from the original text in Italian: I have translated as “the macaques will be made partially blind” and not “the macaques will be made blind” because LAV explained at the event in Torino on the 12th of October that the macaques will be made not completely blind but only partially blind by the surgical procedure. And I inform you that the Italian health minister has given to LAV the protocol of the experiment on the macaques.”
One piece of good news to pass on since our contact wrote the above, is that the research has been delayed to Spring 2020 due to the work of dedicated activists!