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Trading in Cruelty


Primates are subjected to experimental procedures that can cause them substantial pain, discomfort and suffering. Most will be killed at the end of this ordeal. The latest available statistics show that over 10,000 monkeys are used for research in the EU every year. The main users of primates are France, the UK and Germany. Between 2008 and 2009, 5,907 primates were used in UK laboratories; the majority of them were old world primates (which includes the long-tailed macaque).


The main fields of research in which primates are used can generally be categorised into three areas: medical research, toxicology and fundamental research.

Many primates are used in toxicological (poisoning) research by contract testing facilities and large drug companies. This research is rarely published because of commercial confidentiality. However, such testing can last for months, even years during which primates are dosed with chemicals or drugs through injection or forced ingestion (gavage).

Fundamental research may include studies in neurological research and other human disease. Much of this research involves the implantation of electrodes and/or brain damage.

Recent examples of research on long-tailed macaques from Mauritius

UK: 18 young long-tailed macaques, including some from Mauritius were inoculated with a test vaccine and then later 'challenged' with the SIV virus (simian immunodeficiency virus) to see what happened. The monkeys were subjected to many episodes of blood drawing until they were killed after about six months.

France: The liquidised brains of cows or people with mad-cow disease were directly injected into the brains of seven long-tailed macaques from Mauritius. They suffered from severe muscle tremor, lack of co-ordination, complete loss of appetite and became aggressive and anxious. All the monkeys were killed after several months of suffering, when they lost control over their bodies.

France: 18 long-tailed macaques from Mauritius were infected with various doses of the Chikungunya virus and suffered the effects of the disease in order for researchers to compare the development of the disease with human data. The monkeys developed fever, severe rash and gum bleeding, some of them died as a result.

Read more

The trapping fields – The capture of wild monkeys
Holding – Our secret investigation into the monkey farms
Export – How many monkeys are sold for research and who transports them
Take Action Now – support our campaign to stop the primate trade
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