The BUAV investigation into the monkey trade on Mauritius made headline news at the weekend with a two page spread in the UK Sunday Mirror. The article exposed the role of the UK in perpetuating this cruel trade.
Each year over 1,000 macaques are imported from Mauritius by UK laboratories. In 2009, over 4,000 experiments were carried out on
monkeys in the UK. Many are used in toxicological (poisoning) research which can last for months. The monkeys may be regularly dosed with chemicals or drugs through injection or forced ingestion. Primates are also used in research which may include deliberately inflicting brain damage and the implantation of electrodes.
Comedian and actor, Ricky Gervais who supports the BUAV's campaign to end the trade in monkeys for research wrote in the Sunday Mirror:
"I am shocked by the findings of the BUAV's investigations into the trade in monkeys for research. This is a horrific trade which inflicts great cruelty on our primate cousins. Monkeys, torn from their families and homes, are imprisoned in farms to produce babies to feed the research industry. These animals are kept behind bars on concrete and are deprived of the green foliage of their jungle homes. Their babies are snatched away at just a few months old. Taking infants from their mothers is incredibly cruel. The distress they must feel is almost unimaginable. In the wild, monkeys usually stay with their family group for many years, sometimes for life.
These sensitive young animals are later sent around the world to laboratories. Handled like cargo, they are stuck in wooden crates and shipped in the holds of airlines as if they were luggage. At the end of this nightmare journey they are destined to spend their lives in a metal laboratory cage thousands of miles away from their families and subjected to cruel experiments.
I think this is a disgusting way to treat other primates. Monkeys are highly intelligent and social beings who feel pain and distress, just like us. They do not deserve to suffer like this. Please support the BUAV to end this shameful cruelty. We must stop the baby trade."