Over 15,000 people flocked to the annual Mauritian Open Air Festival in London on Sunday 3rd August in order to celebrate the culture, music, food and traditions of the Island.
The BUAV’s Save our Monkey’s campaign was in attendance with an eye-catching stand to raise awareness about the role of Mauritius as one of the world’s leading exporters of primates for the research industry.
Performing at the event was three of Mauritius’s top musicians and performers - Alain Ramanisum, Laura Beg and Jean Claude Gaspard - who all supported the campaign to end this terrible trade and took part in a photo call.
Across Mauritius, there are numerous primate breeding facilities, holding many thousands of monkeys. Many of these monkeys were captured from the wild and imprisoned in these farms, where they are used as breeding 'machines' to produce offspring who will be transported to laboratories around the world.
Michelle Thew, Chief Executive of the BUAV stated: “We were delighted by the response we received at the Mauritius Open Air Festival and for the support of Alain Ramanisum, Laura Beg and Jean Claude Gaspard. It is clear that the cruel monkey trade is an issue of increasing public concern to the Mauritius people as well as to the international community. Worldwide, over 50,000 people have already signed our global petition to the Prime Minister of Mauritius calling for an end to the trade in primates for research. We urge the people of Mauritius to join us in our call and help to save the thousands of monkeys who are suffering as a result of this cruel business. Please add your voice and sign and share our petition.”
Over the years, thousands of long-tailed macaques have been trapped in the wild in Mauritius and confined in unnatural conditions in large breeding facilities across the country. Their offspring are exported as cargo on airlines primarily to laboratories in the USA and European Union, including the UK, Spain, France and Germany. The most recent figures available show that in 2013, over 6,000 monkeys were exported overseas.
BUAV field investigations have revealed the extent of the suffering caused by the trapping and breeding of
monkeys on the island and has led to concern expressed from within Mauritius and around the world by scientists, wildlife experts, politicians, religious and socio-cultural groups, animal welfare organisations as well as members of the public, including tourists.
Photos: Alain Ramanisum, Laura Beg and Jean Claude Gaspard at the Mauritian Open Air Festival 2014