Petitioning President of Kenya, His Excellency Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta

Stop the cruel capture and captivity of wild baboons for research in Kenya


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 Legislation in Kenya relating to animal experiments is outdated and hopelessly inadequate.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. 

Additional Information:

For further information on the BUAV investigation: http://bit.ly/CaptiveCruelty

To watch the BUAV film: http://bit.ly/captivevideo

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Letter to
President of Kenya, His Excellency Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta
Please stop the cruel capture and captivity of wild baboons for research in Kenya.

We, the undersigned, are shocked by the capture and captivity of wild baboons and other primates for research at the Institute of Primate Research (IPR) in Kenya. The evidence of this cruelty was brought to light by an investigation by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV).

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.

We also appeal to you to take action against the Institute of Primate Research for breaching international animal welfare standards. We hope that you will not only be moved by the suffering inflicted on your primate population, but will also be concerned about the negative impact that this animal cruelty and suffering will have upon the international reputation of Kenya.