The legal opinion was presented to the High Court of Justice in response to a petition filed last week by the Israeli animal group 'Let the Animals Live.' The attorney-general has said there are legal difficulties with issuing permits to export 90 long-tailed macaques, including many who were caught in the wild, from B.F.C (known as Mazor farm) in Israel to the Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories (SNBL), an animal testing facility in the USA.
He stated: "Israeli society is changing and what was once acceptable is acceptable no more. The motion to export wild-caught monkeys is unusual and problematic, and there lacks sufficient proof that the object of the experiment in question is to save human lives or to prevent substantial suffering." Further examination of the exporter’s request will take place.
Two Israeli animal organizations, "Let the Animals Live" and "Behind the Lab Doors" have been conducting an ongoing campaign for over a year to try to stop the export of dozens of monkeys from Mazor farm to SNBL in the USA. This effort has been backed by several international organizations, including the BUAV, and several experts providing statements.
Documents and testimonies include incidents of animal suffering that have taken place, including one at the SNBL in which a female monkey was boiled to death after having been left in her cage and placed inside a cage washer. In addition, exporting the monkeys stands in complete contradiction to the policy of the Minister of Environmental Protection, that a) does not allow the export of wild-caught monkeys and b) only allows monkeys to be exported if it can be proved that they are intended to save human lives or reduce human suffering.
According to Supreme Court orders, the Israel Parks and Nature Authority must reexamine Mazor farm's request, and demand that the proper documentation, including the experiment protocol, be obtained in order to determine whether or not the request complies with the policy of the Minister of Environmental Protection. In the following weeks the court will be presented with updating notifications regarding the reexamination, and will make a decision on the continuation of the proceedings.
"Let the Animals Live" and "Behind the Lab Doors" responded: "We congratulate the decision of the Supreme Court judges to accept the position of the Attorney General. Mazor farm's request to send 90 female monkeys into the living hell that is SNBL lab is outrageous, and stands in complete opposition to the current Israeli policy and law. This is nothing more than another chapter in the horrifying reality of Mazor Farm, which is a commercial business that is responsible for abducting monkeys from the wild, and selling them and their offspring. We are grateful for the amazing assistance from the international organizations, such as PETA and the BUAV – without them all this would not have been possible. We hope that this marks the near end of Mazor farm and horrible institutions like SNBL. Our societies must not accept these atrocities anymore.”