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Trading in Cruelty

The Trapping Fields

Thousands of monkeys are taken from the wild each year. The monkeys are caught in traps baited with bananas and sugar cane. The traps are set up at the boundary between the sugar cane fields and the forests where the monkeys live. Trappers either leave the traps unattended or set themselves up in a hide nearby and use a rope to shut the trap door.

The capture of monkeys from the wild inflicts substantial suffering and is inherently cruel. Macaques are highly social animals whose sense of wellbeing and whose welfare are inextricably dependent on intact family and group social structures.


One young female monkey caught in a small trap desperately tried to escape capture and to return to her family. A large male ran to her aid but was unable to protect her and could only watch helplessly from the forest. Imagine the suffering felt by these animals torn from their homes and families. One trapper described grabbing animals by their tails to transfer them from traps to transit cages. This is a cruel and inappropriate way to restrain a non-prehensile animal. The trapper claimed that sometimes monkeys get injured and limbs are broken.

The trapper, working at the time for Noveprim, one of the main farms, kept monkeys at his house in appalling conditions in a dilapidated, dark shed in his garden. Alone and terrified, one such young monkey was tormented and abused by the trapper. Kept in a small wire cage, the monkey who had been injured, was clearly terrified yet the trapper routinely took him out of his cage and tormented him. He pulled the monkey around, swinging him in the air by his tail. Only a few days earlier this monkey had been running freely with his family in the forest.

Read more

Holding – Our secret investigation into the monkey farms
Export – How many monkeys are sold for research and who transports them
Research – The fate of the monkeys from Mauritius when they reach the laboratories
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