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Trial for MPI employees charged with animal cruelty is suspended

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Monkey brain researchers receive fine

We are disappointed to report that the trial against employees of the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics (MPI) who were charged with animal cruelty, which was scheduled for January, has been suspended. The researchers were accused of having caused three monkeys to suffer for longer than necessary during research taking place in 2014.

Despite the state prosecutor’s office launching criminal proceedings, the district court in Tübingen has announced that a cash payment in the amount of a 4 to 5 digit sum has been agreed instead. We are now calling for a report prepared by the University of Bochum, which was submitted by the researchers’ defence lawyer, to be made public.

Information leading to the initial charges came from a joint undercover investigation into the MPI by Cruelty Free International. Our investigation revealed the brutal ways that monkeys were being used in brain experiments at the facility. We were shocked to discover that some monkeys were subjected to major head surgery, water deprivation and physical restraint.

In 2017 we welcomed  the announcement from MPI that it had ended the use of monkeys in these controversial experiments.

Dr Katy Taylor, Director of Science and Regulatory Affairs at Cruelty Free International, says: “We are extremely disappointed that the court hearing has been suspended and the allegations of animal cruelty will not now be addressed.  During our investigation at  the Max Planck Institute we were shocked by the level of suffering that monkeys were subjected.  Monkeys are intelligent and social animals and it is absolutely appalling for them to be treated in this way.”

Thank you to all our supporters who made it possible for us to expose the animal welfare violations at the Max Planck Institute. Please help us end animal experiments and stop all animals from suffering in laboratories.