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Petitioning Home Office - Parliamentary Under Secretary Lynne Featherstone
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Home Office - Parliamentary Under Secretary
Lynne Featherstone

End Britain's Import of Baby Monkeys for Research

1,183
Supporters

In 1997, a ban on importing wild primates for research experiments was implemented. Unfortunately there is a loophole that urgently needs to be closed. While adult wild-caught primates are illegal to import into the U.K., their offspring are not.

The ban was a result of concern expressed for the excessive suffering captive primates endure. Instead of addressing these concerns, the loophole has led to the development of breeding farms that capture wild primates for breeding and export the offspring to countries like the U.K. For Mauritius, the largest supplier of Britain’s research primates, this translates into a £25 million (annually) industry.

The readily available supply of baby long-tailed macaques from wild-caught parents is of great concern. As long as there is a demand, countries like Mauritius will continue producing and exporting them. A classic case of supply and demand. So long as there is a demand for primate research in Britain, there will always be another country willing to supply the animals.

The burden is on the importing countries to end this trade. The U.K. is well-known for having high standards of animal welfare written into law. That such a loophole exists is unsettling.

Photo Credit: Brian Jeffery Beggerly


Letter to
Home Office - Parliamentary Under Secretary Lynne Featherstone
The 1997 ban on importing wild primates for research experiments has a loophole that urgently needs to be closed. While adult wild-caught primates are illegal to import into the U.K., their offspring are not.

Instead of addressing the concerns of wild primates suffering in captivity (as evidenced by the Animal Procedures Committee), the loophole has allowed for the development of breeding farms that capture wild primates for breeding and export the offspring to countries like the U.K. For Mauritius, the largest exporter of Britain’s research primates, this translates into a £25 million (annually) industry.

As long as there is demand, countries like Mauritius will continue producing supplies. The burden is on the importing countries to end this trade. In 2008, the focus was Cambodia for the cruel nature of their primate export industry. Just three years later, the same cruelty and suffering are found in Mauritius.

The U.K. is well-known for having high standards of animal welfare written into law. That such a loophole exists is unsettling.

I call on you to review the current laws for importing primates for research and amend them to close the loophole that allows babies of wild-caught primates to be shipped into Britain for use in research experiments.

Thank you,