Internationally renowned ethologist, Dr Jane Goodall, DBE Founder – the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace – has joined animal protection groups in Germany, the UK and France (Ärzte-gegen-Tierversuche e.V. , Cruelty Free International and One Voice) in welcoming an end to the controversial neuroscience experiments on monkeys at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics (MPI) in Tübingen, and is calling for the surviving monkeys to be released to a sanctuary.In recent years, MPI has found itself at the centre of media and public controversy following a long running campaign by Ärzte-gegen-Tierversuche e.V. In 2014, MPI was the subject of harrowing undercover video footage that revealed the immense suffering of primates, who were forced to take part in neuroscience experiments using severe water deprivation and physical and psychological coercion.Two years later, in 2016, MPI announced that it would end using primates in these controversial experiments. Despite an initial move by MPI to try to place some of the surviving monkeys into a sanctuary, no information on the actual fate and whereabouts of the surviving animals has been made public. It is feared that MPI has sent at least ten monkeys to other laboratories in Europe to continue to be used in experiments.Dr Jane Goodall, who in December gave an inspiring lecture in Tübingen organized by Ärzte gegen Tierversuche during which she spoke out passionately against the use of primates in invasive and cruel experiments, has stated: “I welcome the news that the disturbing monkey experiments taking place at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, in Tübingen, Germany will no longer take place. However, I am saddened to learn that the monkeys have not been released to a sanctuary but rather sent to other laboratories presumably to be used in further experiments. I join Cruelty Free International, Ärzte gegen Tierversuche and One Voice in calling for information on their whereabouts to be publicly released and I urge the Max Planck Institute to arrange for the immediate transfer of these monkeys to a sanctuary. These poor individuals have suffered enough and deserve to live out the rest of their lives free from the deprivation and confinement of the laboratory.”One Voice, Ärzte-gegen-Tierversuche e.V. and Cruelty Free International have submitted a request to Mr. Klaus Tappeser, President of the administrative district of Tübingen, requesting information on the current whereabouts and fate of any of primates who were held by MPI in November 2016 be released.
Seoul: South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday confirmed the appointment of a pro-engagement academic as his new point man on Pyongyang, despite controversy over his outspoken support for cooperation with the nuclear-armed North. The confirmation of Kim Yeon-chul as the new unification minister comes days before Moon flies to Washington for a summit with President Donald Trump as he seeks to rekindle dialogue between the US and North Korea after a failed summit in Hanoi in February. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe dovish South Korean president brokered the talks process between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which led to their first landmark summit in Singapore last June. But at times security allies Seoul and Washington have appeared to diverge on their approach to Pyongyang, with Moon, a longstanding advocate of engagement with the North, regularly pushing inter-Korean cooperation projects. Moon faced a heavy backlash last month after tapping Kim Yeon-chul, chief of the state-run Korea Institute of National Unification, to head the unification ministry which handles inter-Korean affairs. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsKim, also a vocal supporter of dialogue with Pyongyang and Moon’s longtime confidante, has a record of challenging generally held views on highly emotive issues involving the North. In a 2010 newspaper column, Kim wrote that the shooting dead of a South Korean tourist by a northern guard at the North’s Mount Kumgang resort was a “rite of passage” that Seoul had to undergo in the early stages of cross-border cooperation. All South Korean tours to the North were suspended following the 2008 killing. Kim is also a vocal critic of sanctions against Pyongyang. Shortly after Seoul’s 2016 closure of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, where Southern firms used to be staffed by Northern workers, he told an interviewer that “sanctions and pressure was a failed approach”. Moon has been pushing for the resumption of both projects, but doing so would fall foul of the current sanctions system. In spite of the collapse of the Hanoi summit, Moon said last month that Seoul would consult with the US on ways to resume South Korean tours to Mount Kumgang and restart operations at the joint factory park. Moon is able to override opposition parties’ strong objections to Kim’s appointment as cabinet ministers do not require parliamentary approval.