World Day for Laboratory Animals: ADI calls for end to cruel monkey trade
15,000 sign petition to stop Florida monkey farm
April 23, 2015, HENDRY COUNTY, FL – With World Day for Laboratory Animals approaching on Friday, April 24, Animal Defenders International (ADI) has renewed its call to phase out monkey imports and experiments and to scrap plans for a new monkey breeding facility in Florida. 15,000 people have signed ADI’s petition opposing the proposed farm.
Last year, ADI revealed highly controversial plans to “establish the first Mauritius breeding colony in the U.S.” to supply monkeys for experiments. Prelabs, operating under the name Primera, could import thousands of non-native macaque monkeys to LaBelle, Florida from Mauritius, an island situated off the coast of East Africa.
Primera’s trading partner, Biodia snatches monkeys from the wild. Terrified individuals are manhandled by workers, who swing them by their tails, pin their arms behind their backs and subject them to painful procedures. ADI released shocking undercover footage from inside this Mauritian monkey breeding facility, revealing brutality and suffering intrinsic to the primate trade: https://youtu.be/2E5l8L0ndDU
Similar scenes were exposed by ADI at a ‘distribution-hub’ in Spain supplying US laboratories, run by another international monkey dealer operating out of Mauritius. Haunting footage shows animals incarcerated alone inside tiny, barren cages before enduring the long journey to US laboratories: https://youtu.be/woegHTrd25c
Florida hosts several companies breeding monkeys for laboratories whose practices are coming under increasing scrutiny. The ‘oldest and largest’ breeding facility in the area, Primate Products, is currently under investigation by Hendry County after local media reported ongoing experiments there and a whistleblower reported the facility was cutting open pregnant monkeys and selling their dead fetuses and milk. Since that revelation, a second monkey breeder is now being investigated after USDA reports indicated that tests were being conducted at the Mannheimer Foundation facility in Homestead.
Another supplier is looking to set up shop in the sunshine state. Infamous monkey breeder Mazor Farm has finished construction of a facility in Florida after Israeli legislation forced the company to shut down its operation, following years of public concern. The company planned to ship thousands of animals in from Israel but shelved the idea when philanthropist Ady Gil stepped in to rescue 1,300 monkeys.
Florida’s monkey breeding facilities raise numerous serious economic, environmental, agricultural, animal welfare, and public health issues which remain unanswered. There is growing opposition among local citizens and local Senators have expressed strong concern. Shockingly, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has stated that it does not review the potential impact of the introduction of thousands of non-native exotics on the state’s indigenous plants, animals, and waters, even though two non-native species of monkeys are already at large, underscoring the failures of containment.
Monkeys from breeding facilities are sold to laboratories where they may be force-fed chemicals, have electrodes implanted into their brains, or injected with potentially poisonous substances. These intelligent, social animals cry out as they are strapped into the restraint chairs used to immobilize them for cruel experiments; some suffer rectal prolapse as a result of the stress. ADI investigations have revealed monkeys suffering blocked lungs, trembling, collapsing and bleeding before being killed. Terrified monkeys awaiting experiments sometimes mutilate themselves – ADI documented how one male chewed his finger to the bone. Repetitive abnormal behaviors associated with psychological damage and fights are common; monkeys under attack in cages have nowhere to escape. Most monkeys are killed at the end of the experiments. Others are forced to endure years of deprivation in barren cages.
US laboratories experiment on over 70,000 monkeys each year. Nearly 20,000 are imported into the US by international monkey traders. The latest figures show nearly 3,000 are imported from Mauritius, with 10-20% coming from Primera’s trading partner Biodia. The monkeys face a grueling, lonely, and terrifying 9,000+ mile journey to the US.
International regulatory bodies, scientists, and governments around the world are moving away from primate experiments toward advanced non-animal alternatives. The European Union has already ended the use of apes and wild-caught monkeys in experiments, restricted tests on other monkeys and has committed to phase out the trade in monkeys born to wild-caught parents.
ADI President Jan Creamer said, “As a progressive global power, the US should be leading the way in phasing out primate tests. It is absurd in this modern age to take these intelligent, sensitive individuals from the wild and breed them for cruel and outdated experiments. Please join ADI on World Day for Laboratory Animals in calling for an end to the brutal monkey trade in Florida and across the US.”
A minute’s silence will be observed at midday on World Day for Laboratory Animals, 24 April, to commemorate the suffering of animals in laboratories.
Join ADI’s campaign to stop the monkey business: www.ad-international.org/usa
Images of monkeys in breeding facilities and laboratories:
Petition to oppose plans to build a monkey breeding facility in Florida
ADI Exposes Plans to Farm Monkeys for Experiments in Florida
ADI undercover investigation on a Mauritian monkey farm
Wink News: “Hendry Co. to Monkey Farm: 21 days to explain monkey testing” http://www.winknews.com/2015/04/02/hendry-co-to-monkey-farm-21-days-to-explain-monkey-testing/
Animal Defenders International
With offices in Los Angeles, London and Bogotá, Animal Defenders International rescues animals in distress worldwide and campaigns to protect animals in entertainment, replace animals in experiments, end wildlife trafficking, promote vegetarianism, end factory farming, pollution and conservation. ADI-gathered evidence has led to campaigns and legislative action all over the world to protect animals. www.ad-international.org