Controversial plan for large monkey farm in Mauritius

Controversial plan for large monkey farm in Mauritius

A man facing animal cruelty charges wants to build a monkey breeding farm in Mauritius. 

Shafeek Jhummun, the director of Hammerhead International Ltd, is currently under investigation for running an illegal monkey farm. 446 long-tailed macaques were found in appalling conditions, the local newspaper Le Mauricien reported.

Hammerhead International has filed an application for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) certificate to construct a monkey farm. 

The company aims to develop a facility that can keep up to 12,000 long-tailed macaques captive. It plans to capture 40-50 wild macaques daily, potentially totaling up to 15,000 monkeys annually.

Mauritius monkey exporter

Mauritius is a significant exporter of monkeys, particularly wild-caught ones, for research and toxicity testing. Laboratories in France, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada, and the United States import long-tailed macaques from Mauritius to use them in harsh experiments.

Animal rights organizations People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Action for Primates, One Voice, Abolición Vivisección, Cheshire Animal Rights Campaigns, and Monkey Massacre are calling on the Mauritius government to reject the permit application. 

They argue that the proposed farm would exacerbate the suffering of long-tailed macaques in Mauritius.

“A proposal of any size, but especially one so large, and one that involves the widespread capture of many thousands of wild monkeys is alarming and, if granted, would increase the misery long-tailed macaques in Mauritius experience as a result of extreme persecution,” Sarah Kite, spokesperson for Action for Primates, said.

“Equally alarming is that Hammerhead International Ltd, the company behind the proposal, stands accused of the ill-treatment and illegal possession of macaques. We urge the Mauritius Government to refuse this application,” she added.

The capture of monkeys has been condemned by several authorities, including the European Union and the International Primatological Society. The animas are traumatized from being forcibly removed from their natural habitats and families.

In 2023, Hammerhead International Ltd was discovered operating an illegal farm, resulting in the rescue of 446 macaques. This led to legal proceedings against Jhummun for animal mistreatment and illegal possession of macaques. The trial is set on March 7.

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