The BUAV has renewed its call to end the trade in primates following the release of the latest figures that show in 2013, 6,054 primates were exported from Mauritius to research laboratories around the world, including to the UK, USA, France Spain and Germany.
Mauritius continues to be one of the world’s largest exporters of primates for the research industry, exporting thousands of monkeys every year. The BUAV is concerned that the Mauritius trade in long-tailed macaques is being largely driven by demand from European countries, supported by the recent figures which show a 17% increase in the number of primates imported into the EU in 2013 than compared with 2012 from 2,878 primates to 3,372 imported in 2013.
The UK plays a key role as the largest European, and world’s second largest importer of long-tailed macaques from Mauritius. The latest figures show the UK imported 1,077 primates from Mauritius in 2013, an increase of 13% from 2012. Monkeys imported by the UK from Mauritius include the offspring of wild-caught parents. Despite a widely publicised ban on the use of wild-caught primates in UK research since 1997, there is no protection for the offspring of wild-caught primates or primates exported from farms which trap wild primates for breeding purposes. The BUAV is also calling on the UK Government to disassociate itself from this cruel trade.
The BUAV launched Save Our Monkeys, an international awareness campaign in response to its investigation which exposed the cruel monkey trade of Mauritius. Save Our Monkeys has been successful in voicing concern and raising awareness of the cruel exploitation of the monkeys on the island nationally, and internationally, and continues to gain support from leading religious socio-cultural groups and individuals across Mauritius and worldwide. Most recently Bollywood star R.Madhavan expressed concern over the Mauritius monkey trade, joining notable Indian politician and animal campaigner Mrs Maneka Gandhi in urging the Mauritius government to end the trade in monkeys on the island.
He said: “I am appealing to everyone in Mauritius to find out more about the Save our Monkeys campaign and how their monkey population is subjected to great cruelty and suffering. I was appalled when I first learnt how these sentient beings are exploited and exported from the island for the global research industry. Please help end this needless cruelty.”
India banned the export of its population of macaque monkeys for research in 1978 following a widespread outcry. Save Our Monkeys believes that Mauritius can and should follow India’s lead and take a positive stand against the monkey trade.