NEAVS, in support of BUAV’s campaign, is working to end the international trade in nonhuman primates for research. The campaign has exposed the cruelty and suffering inflicted on thousands of wild primates who are torn from their families and jungle homes to be exported directly for research or imprisoned to produce monkeys for laboratories worldwide.
The BUAV investigation revealed that these monkeys sustain injuries, broken limbs and even deliberate cruelties. One “official” trapper routinely caught monkeys by grabbing their tails and swinging them and kept them in appalling conditions on his property.
The U.S. is the largest importer of primates. U.S. companies include Covance Research Products, Charles River Laboratories and Worldwide Primates.
The primates are transported as cargo on airlines. In just one day, Charles River received a shipment of 1,168 primates while Covance received 2,050 macaques in just two shipments. In 2009, Covance alone imported over 9,000 primates.
One of the many horrors of this trade is the forced separation of mothers and infants. Long-tailed macaques normally wean their babies gradually at around 14 months and continue intimate contact for years. If captured and destined for research though, forced separation is immediate and extremely distressing for both mother and baby. On breeding farms, infants assigned for research are often removed under one year, as early as 8 months.
It is estimated that each year more than 100,000 primates are used in research worldwide—predominantly in the U.S., Japan and Europe. Small, barren, steel cages are standard housing, with no meaningful opportunities for enrichment or socialization. These unnatural conditions cause monkeys to develop abnormal and self-destructive behaviors from stress related trauma. In a typical lab, monkeys pace, rock, sway, bite the bars, and self-mutilate—having been driven to what, were they a human-primate, would be called “insane.”
In addition to their suffering from confinement, primates are used in toxicological (poisoning) research which lasts months, even years. They may be regularly dosed with chemicals or drugs through injection or forced tubal ingestion. They may be deliberately inflicted with brain damage or have electrodes implanted in their brains. Experiments can even include multiple surgeries just to prepare the primate for a study. For example: first to implant a head mount onto his/her skull, second to dissect his/her eye or ear to implant search coils, and third to destroy part of his/her ear canal, eye, brain, etc.
Support the campaign/efforts by NEAVS and the BUAV to stop the import of monkeys from Mauritius to the USA by urging Mauritian authorities to end the wild capture and breeding of their native primates for export to U.S. laboratories.