Abgas-Versuche an Affen: PETA fordert Versprechen von Volkswagen, nie wieder Tierversuche in Auftrag zu geben


New Mexico (USA) / Wolfsburg / Stuttgart, 26. Januar 2018 – Wie u.a. die New York Times berichten, haben deutsche Autobauer, darunter Volkswagen, in den USA Versuche an Affen durchführen lassen. Die Tiere wurden gezwungen, über vier Stunden Dieselabgase in einem geschlossenen Raum einzuatmen. Der Konzern wollte damit beweisen, wie wenig gesundheitsschädlich die Emissionen seiner Fahrzeuge sind. Durchgeführt wurden die Experimente vom Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, das in der Vergangenheit wiederholt gegen Tierschutzauflagen verstoßen hat. In einem Brief fordert der 2. Vorsitzende der Tierrechtsorganisation PETA Deutschland, Harald Ullmann, VW auf zu versprechen, nie wieder Tierversuche durchzuführen oder in Auftrag zu geben. Nachfolgend ist der Brief im Wortlaut wiedergegeben:
Experiments at Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute
January 26, 2018
Matthias Müller
Volkswagen Group
Eric Felber
Head of Corporate & Business Communications
Volkswagen Group
Dear Mr. Müller and Felber:                    
I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our 6.5 million members and supporters regarding experiments—commissioned by the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (E.U.G.T.) and reportedly facilitated by Volkswagen—in which 10 cynomolgus macaque monkeys were locked into chambers and forced to inhale diesel fumes emitted from a 1999 Ford diesel pickup truck and a late-model Volkswagen Beetle for four hours. According to an article published yesterday in the New York Times, the study, carried out at Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI) in Albuquerque, N.M., was “deliberately manipulated? so the Beetle would “produce artificially low emissions.? While the deceit perpetrated by these experiments has already earned both E.U.G.T. and Volkswagen much condemnation, we ask that you kindly consider the ten macaques who suffered pain and discomfort in your fraudulent experiments and were more than likely killed at the conclusion of the experiments so their lungs could be excised and dissected. We ask that you pledge never to conduct experiments on animals again.
The situation is particularly harrowing at LRRI, the contract laboratory where you chose to conduct your cruel experiments on monkeys. In recent years, LRRI has been repeatedly cited for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Federal Reports document LRRI’s failure to provide veterinary care to beagles with painful reddened and inflamed skin. A monkey who “experienced adverse complications? stopped eating, but the attending veterinarian was not consulted. Three days after it was first observed that the monkey had stopped eating, she was found dead in her enclosure. An anesthetized dog suffered respiratory arrest and died when his lungs overinflated because a device to measure pulmonary function was used improperly. Six guinea pigs suffocated to death when they were tightly packed into a small enclosure to be transported—and left there for nearly an hour. Experimenters frequently deviated from the experimental protocols that had been approved by the institutional oversight body—jeopardizing the welfare of animals. In 2011, LRRI was cited by U.S. authorities for six violations of the AWA—including the strangulation death of a monkey who became caught on an experimental jacket and the escape of an infant cynomolgus monkey—and fined $21,750. LRRI was again under federal investigation for animal welfare violations in 2016, although the findings of that investigation have not yet been publicized.   
LRRI’s flouting of minimal animal welfare laws exacerbates the suffering of nonhuman primates beyond the extreme misery and privation that already characterizes life in a laboratory. And the gravity of these ethical considerations is compounded when one considers that the biological and genetic differences between monkeys and humans make monkeys poor predictors of human response to situations—such as inhaling diesel exhaust.
As you certainly must be aware, primates are highly intelligent animals who form intricate social relationships, experience a wide range of emotions and exhibit a capacity for suffering similar to that of humans. Macaque monkeys, like the individuals used in your experiments, have shown impressive intellectual abilities, such as counting and understanding relationships between numbers, using tools, employing advanced deceptive tactics, communicating complex information, expressing empathy and even possessing a sense of fairness. But there is nothing fair about condemning these complex, sensitive animals to suffer physical suffering and psychological torment in laboratories where they are caged and deprived of fresh air, sunshine, freedom of movement, the companionship of others, and just about everything else that makes any life worth living. Instead, they only stare—day after day, year after year—at either the bars of their isolated prisons or the barren walls of the sterile room beyond.
We would like to meet with you to discuss our concerns, to show you the unmitigated suffering endured by animals in laboratories, and to secure your pledge that you will not conduct further tests on animals or pay others to carry out such testing. Please contact me at [phone number] or [email address] at your earliest convenience.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Harald Ullmann
Vice President
PETA Germany

Denis Schimmelpfennig, +49 711 860591-528, [email protected]