Stop the primate trade from Mauritius

An investigation carried out by the BUAV in 2009-2010 has obtained shocking evidence of the cruelty and suffering involved in the trapping and breeding of wild monkeys on Mauritius. Each year, thousands are torn from their families and jungle homes and either exported directly for research or imprisoned on farms to produce offspring to be exported to laboratories around the world, where they will likely suffer and die in experiments.

Mauritius is the second largest supplier of primates (long-tailed macaques) for the research industry in the world. The monkeys are exported to the European Union (mainly to the UK, France and Spain), the USA and Israel.

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We, the undersigned, are shocked to learn that every year thousands of wild-caught primates and their offspring are exported from Mauritius for research. The capture of primates from the wild inflicts substantial suffering and is inherently cruel. Furthermore, the conditions in which primates are held on breeding farms fail to meet the many complex behavioural and psychological needs of these highly intelligent and social animals.

Your government may be unaware of the ultimate fate of Mauritian primates. We urge you to consider the pain and suffering that are inflicted on them after they are shipped thousands of miles to laboratories around the world. Primates are usually kept on their own in small, barren, steel cages. With no companionship and little mental stimulation, they often develop abnormal and self-destructive behaviours. Many will be used in toxicity tests which involve the forced ingestion, inhalation or injection of chemicals to the point of causing severe illness and even death. Others will be used in research which may include deliberately inflicting brain damage and the implantation of electrodes.

We appeal to the Government of Mauritius to take immediate action to end this appalling cruelty and ban the capture and export of primates. We hope that you will not only be moved by the suffering inflicted on your primate population, but also be aware of the impact that this continued trade will have upon the international reputation of Mauritius.

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