European animal rights groups are calling for an end of the trade in monkeys from Mauritius for research. The country supplies laboratories in Europe with long-tailed macaques.
Last year, 10,827 long-tailed macaques were exported from Mauritius, an increase of 40% from 2019, British animal welfare organization Action for Primates said in a statement.
Between January and September this year, 10,810 long-tailed macaques were sent from Mauritius to laboratories in Spain, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada and the United States.
Spanish animal supply company Camarney SL and the French Simian Laboratory Europe (Silabe) import the monkeys from Mauritius to breed or sell to European laboratories.
Action for Primates said that long-tailed macaques are caught in the wild, stolen from their families. They are then either sent overseas or held in one of the eight breeding farms in Mauritius.
The monkeys, who are sent overseas, are packed into small transit crates and transported as cargo by air. The main airlines involved in transporting these animals from Mauritius to Europe are Air France, Wamos Air and Safe Air, Action for Primates said.
Long-tailed macaques are often used for toxicity testing for pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries. Chemicals are given to the animals to see their reaction. In these tests, animals are restrained and chemicals are injected in their blood or through a tube directly into their stomach.
Monkeys who are given chemicals react the same way humans do; they vomit, get difficulty breathing, seizures, skin problems, weight loss, internal bleeding and organ failure. If animals don’t die from the illnesses they get from the tests, they are killed after the tests.
The groups that call for an end of the trade are Action for Primates, One Voice, Doctors Against Animal Experiments, ATRA, LSCV, Svobodazvirat, ADDA, Stop Camarles, Pro Anima, IBT, OSA, Animal Rights, The ECEAE and Progress Science Mauritius.
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