This morning Michelle Thew, BUAV's Chief Executive, went to No 10 Downing Street to hand in our Open Letter to the Prime Minister calling for an end to the UK's involvement in the cruel wild-caught primate trade. Michelle was accompanied by actress Jenny Seagrove and MPs Kerry McCarthy, Annette Brooke, Adrian Sanders and Simon Wright (pictured below).
The BUAV's call has received the backing of politicians, scientists, academics, wildlife experts and celebrities and our Open Letter was published in The Times and The Guardian yesterday. Support has come from leading primatologist and Founder of the Jane Goodall Foundation, Dr Jane Goodall, actress and wildlife campaigner Virginia McKenna, environmentalist Jonathon Porritt, conservationist Ian Redmond, author Richard Adams, TV wildlife presenters Simon King, Bill Oddie, Michaela Strachan and Mark Carwardine along with celebrities such as Dr Brian May, Ricky Gervais and Toyah Wilcox. Other individuals to sign up include barrister Michael Mansfield, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and leading academics and scientists such as Professor Roger Crisp, Professor William McGrew, Revd Professor Andrew Linzey, Professor Stephen Harris, Professor Michael Balls, Professor Vernon Reynolds, and Professor Jonathan Wolff.
Actress Jenny Seagrove stated: “What happens to these wild monkeys is terrible. I am glad to join the BUAV in their letter calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to end the UK’s involvement in this cruel trade.”
Kerry McCarthy MP stated: “I was appalled to learn that this inhumane trade in primates is still going on. There is no justification for this, as I think is demonstrated by the breadth and depth of support for the BUAV’s campaign. I hope that the Prime Minister will listen to campaigners, and the experts in this area, protect wild primates and their offspring from trade, and end the UK’s role in animal cruelty like this.”
Annette Brooke MP stated: “I am pleased to offer my support to BUAV and this vital campaign. The use of wild-caught primates in research has been banned since 1997, however loopholes are being exploited. We have a responsibility to stop primates being taken from their natural habitat to feed the trade in the UK. This is a cruel trade that must be abolished.”
Despite a UK ban on the use of wild-caught primates in research since 1997, there is no such ban on their offspring or those from farms which trap wild primates for breeding purposes. The capture of primates from the wild inflicts great suffering which has been recognised by a number of organisations and official bodies, including the UK government’s own advisory committee, the Animal Procedures Committee.