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BUAV speaks out against the introduction of a new bill that will legalise animal experiments in Mauritius


The BUAV Save our Monkeys campaign has spoken out against clauses contained in a new bill (The Animal Welfare Bill 2013) which if adopted would legalise animal experiments in Mauritius. The BUAV believes that the bill, which had its first reading on 25th June, will further tarnish the international reputation of Mauritius which is already suffering as a result of the country's position as the world's second largest supplier of monkeys for research.

The BUAV, which has already written to all 70 members of the Mauritius Parliament and Government officials raising concerns about the likely impact the legislation will have for animals - in particular the country’s native population of long-tailed macaque - is now urging MPs to throw out clauses 8-11 of the Bill.

These clauses do not belong in a bill, the principal objects of which are to promote the welfare and good treatment of animals and to protect them from distress, pain or suffering. Experimenting on live animals does the opposite and it is disingenuous for the Government to pretend otherwise.

In any event, it is wholly inappropriate to try to regulate animal experiments in four short clauses. The BUAV has heavily criticised the paucity and inadequacy of the provisions relating to animal experiments in these clauses. These include but are not limited to:

- no prohibition on animal experiments where there are non-animal alternatives available

- no prohibition on the use of wild-caught animals (including primates and stray cats and dogs)

- no inspections of facilities

- no mention of the housing and care requirements of the animals

- no staff training requirements

There is already growing awareness and concern surrounding the trapping, breeding and exporting of primates from Mauritius for experiments. The introduction of this Bill will inflict even further suffering on the country’s primate population, which is likely to be the main species used in research. Additionally, the establishment of primate experimentation facilities in Mauritius will simply encourage further use of these animals.

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