Trading In Cruelty

2nd September 2011

The island of Mauritius is a tropical paradise. Rich in lush foliage and surrounded by coral reefs, it is a major holiday destination. Yet, hidden within this paradise, the BUAV has uncovered an industry that inflicts great suffering on nonhuman primates, one which rips families apart, imprisons some for life as breeding ’machines’ and sends others overseas, on airlines such as Air France, to suffer and die in cruel experiments. Our investigators infiltrated the trapping and supply network and secretly filmed inside primate farms.

Mauritius is one of the world’s largest suppliers of wild-caught and captive-born long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) for research. Our investigation has revealed the appalling cruelty of the wild-caught trade and by association the breeding farms which are dependent on the wild-caught trade not only to replenish ‘breeding stock’ but also to supply F1 generation monkeys (the offspring of wild-caught parents). Despite a UK ban on the import of wild-caught primates, F1 generation or ‘captive-born’ monkeys are still allowed to be imported into the UK for research. In fact, Mauritius is the largest overseas supplier of primates to the UK.

The long-tailed macaque is not considered indigenous to Mauritius. Despite listed as Appendix 11 on CITES (Convention for the Trade in Endangered Species), the species is labeled a ’pest’ and is widely persecuted in the country.

Each year, up to 10,000 monkeys are exported from Mauritius to the European Union (including the UK, France and Spain), the USA and Israel. During 2008-2009 Mauritius supplied over 2,700 monkeys to the UK and over 7,000 monkeys to the USA. The monkeys are reportedly sold to the UK and EU for around £2,600 each.

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