Snatched from the wild, baboons were crammed into small cages and shipped for many hours on the back of pick-up trucks to the IPR. The capture of wild baboons is extremely cruel and inflicts much suffering on these highly social and intelligent animals. The substantial negative impact caused by trapping is universally recognised by official bodies and the use of wild-caught primates in research is banned in some countries, including the UK.
The investigation has uncovered the unacceptable conditions in which wild baboons and other primates were held at the IPR; conditions that compromised the welfare of baboons and failed to meet international welfare standards. Some of the baboons were housed on their own in barren metal cages. There was no enrichment. These conditions can cause disturbed abnormal behaviour and take the form of pacing and circling. The introduction of baboons to others was often done poorly, resulting in fighting and injuries. Some infants were taken from their mothers at a young age and housed alone.
At the IPR, baboons are subjected to disturbing research; much of it is highly invasive, causes immense suffering and is even fatal. Legislation in Kenya relating to animal experiments is outdated and hopelessly inadequate. Yet, researchers from overseas, including the UK, USA and Belgium, travel to Kenya to use these facilities to conduct experiments on wild caught baboons. For example, researchers from the University of Newcastle have been conducting especially invasive brain surgery on baboons in which the individual’s head was placed into a stereotaxic frame and held in place whilst the skull was drilled open and parts of the brain removed. The animals were kept alive under anaesthetic for many hours while tests were carried out before being killed.
We urge the Kenyan government to take a stand and dissociate itself from the cruelties of the wild-caught trade by introducing a ban on the capture and use of wild-caught primates for research.
For further information on the BUAV investigation: http://bit.ly/CaptiveCruelty
To watch the BUAV film: http://bit.ly/captivevideo
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