Published: 2020-09-03 14:31 | Updated: 2020-09-03 14:37

Animal Rights Alliance to demonstrate on Solna campus

The Animal Rights Alliance (Djurrättsalliansen) is currently running a campaign to “retire” five monkeys used for research at KI. The campaign includes appeals on social media, letters and emails to staff and the distribution of leaflets on the Solna campus. KI uses monkeys for medical research, such as that conducted for vaccine development, when no other options are available.

The ARA’s “Save the KI apes” campaign has been going on since the spring and revolves around five crab-eating macaques that have been at KI since 2009. In letters and emails and on social media, the group is urging the various representatives of KI to retire the apes.

The ARA will be outside the KI Solna campus leafleting staff and students during the first week of September, and will be demonstrating outside the Astrid Fagraeus laboratory (KM-F) in Solna on Friday 4 September.

Primate research at KI

KI has used primates for medical research for many years, but as a last resort for research on medical concerns such as severe communicable diseases. A current example is research on drugs and vaccines for COVID-19.

The use of animals in scientific research is strictly regulated by Swedish and EU animal protection legislation. To conduct animal research in Sweden, for instance, scientists must apply for a permit from a regional animal research ethics board, which weighs the effects on the animals against the scientific benefits.

Makaker, Astrid Fagræus laboratorium, Karolinska Institutet, Solna. Foto: KM/KI.

KI’s primates are kept in large spaces fitted out to cater for their natural behavioural and social needs. All personnel involved in animal research and animal handlers at KI are obliged to undergo basic and, depending on role, further training in laboratory animal science.

Much important work is being done to reduce the number of animals used in medical research, to improve techniques and to replace animal research with alternative methods.

Questions about primate research

If you receive an email on the monkeys and have any questions, please write to