Ricky Gervais has called for an end to the suffering of primates in research.

The 57-year-old comedian - who regularly speaks about animal welfare on his social media accounts - has called on governments around the world to end the suffering caused to monkeys and apes before they're even subjected to experiments.

Ricky said: ''To see these sensitive, intelligent animals born to suffer in this way makes me angry. It should make you angry too.

''Help save the primates from a life in the lab and demand that the government acts to end their use.''

The 'Office' star has thrown his support behind an Animal Defenders International (ADI) campaign, which has called for the breeding of animals purely for research purposes to be phased out.

ADI - which has urged the UK government to take a lead on the issue - highlighted the case of the Biomedical Primate Research Centre in the Netherlands, where it says primates experience ''fear, confusion, restraint, routine suffering, injury and death'', regardless of whether they are used in experiments or not.

Jan Creamer, the president of ADI, said: ''Given the known species differences between primates and humans, there can be no scientific or ethical justification for continuing to use primates in this kind of research. The move to advanced scientific techniques is good for science and ends the suffering.''

Ricky previously admitted he has ''never understood animal cruelty''.

The British comic feels empathy for animals and is bemused by people who treat them like ''inanimate objects without feelings''.

Ricky said: ''I have empathy for everything - I'm hardwired to - and some people think that animals are like inanimate objects without feelings and that dogs, say, don't feel sad. But that's just not true.''