New figures show that the number of primates used for animal testing in the Netherlands decreased by almost half between 2015-2016.
There were 120 procedures performed on primates in 2016, a decrease of 49% compared to the previous year.
The move away from primate testing came in the wake of the pressure put on the Dutch government by animal rights organisations such as PETA Netherlands.
A petition organised by PETA gathered over 100,000 signatures, and was presented to Dutch politicians.
PETA said: “The dramatic decline in the use of primates came after PETA Netherlands collected over 100,000 signatures from compassionate people all over Europe and delivered them to politicians in The Hague.”
“As a result, in March 2016, the Dutch government passed a motion to phase out experiments at Europe’s largest primate facility, the Biomedical Primate Research Centre in Rijswijk.”
The research also demonstrated a significant decrease in the use of other animals.
The use of mice decreased by 34%, rabbits by 13%, and dogs by 13%.
However, there was an increase in the amount of testing done on rats and birds, with a significant increase (46%) on the amount of testing done on cats.
Furthermore, 61% of procedures that took place on mice were deemed ‘severe’, demonstrating that there is still much work to be done.
PETA has not finished campaigning against animal testing in the Netherlands, stating that while there over 400,000 procedures take place every year, they will keep fighting.