WARNING: DISTRESSING CONTENT BELOW
In a series of cruel lab tests, the monkeys are hooked up to electrodes, caged, isolated and then blinded.
The footage, obtained by Italian animal rights organisation Essere Animali in Parma, shows an ape so thirsty it licks the padlock of its cage in an attempt to grasp at some moisture.
In a separate clip, the caged animal can be seen drinking a liquid, reportedly urine, from the floor of its cage.
Shockingly, the website of the lab conducting the research lists UK labs as those among those benefiting from the long-running brain research programme on macaques.
Essere Animali said: “The monkeys have open wounds from the electrodes on their head and are trained by abstaining them from water.
“This has serious consequences for their wellbeing.
“The footage shows how a thirsty monkey drinks his own urine and how the animals lick on the walls and bars of the cages.”
Our closest cousins are being subjected to this treatment for a research project called LIGHTUP – tuning the cortically blind brain to see.
As part of the research, monkeys are forced to endure a long training period after immobilisation in several parts of the body for hours for weeks or months at a times.
The macaques are then made clinically blind by removing parts of the visual cortex.
Essere Animali spokesman Robert Molenaar said: “Besides the grisly experiments, the long-lasting transport also causes stress and fear.
“You do not interact like that with animals so closely related to us who can feel and suffer as much as us.”