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The BUAV calls on UK tourists to help the monkeys of Mauritius when booking on Sunshine Saturday

Saturday 11th January is tipped to see a peak in UK holidaymakers booking trips abroad, so leading animal protection organisation, the BUAV, has launched an appeal for tourists to take action to help the suffering monkeys on the paradise island of Mauritius.

Mauritius is a tropical haven, rich in lush foliage and surrounded by coral reefs. It is a top holiday destination for families, sun-seekers and honeymooners alike. Yet most are unaware that there is a dark secret to this paradise - Mauritius is one of the world's largest supplies of long-tailed macaques for the research industry. Many thousands of monkeys are exported from the island each year to laboratories in the EU and, in particular, the UK.

Tourism is one of the largest contributors to the Mauritian economy, therefore, holiday-makers choosing to visit the island are in a good position to voice their concerns regarding the plight of the monkeys trapped and held for exportation.

CEO of the BUAV, Michelle Thew, said: “Life in Mauritius is not a holiday for the monkeys. Thousands are kept imprisoned in industrial-scale factories for the sole purpose of producing babies to be later shipped abroad into a life of suffering inside a laboratory. The beautiful island hides a sad secret and we appeal to anyone booking a sunshine break to think about the monkeys and contact the Mauritian government to help bring an end to this dreadful trade.”

The BUAV launched its ‘Save our Monkeys’ campaign in 2012 to raise awareness regarding the thousands of animals suffering as a result of the research-supply trade.  Its investigation at one of the main primate supply companies in 2012 caused an outcry of horror globally as images of hundreds of dead monkeys discarded in bins were released. Many of the animals were mothers and babies because, amongst other things, they were simply ‘surplus’ to requirement.

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