By Michelle Thew
Mauritius is known for is pure white beaches and crystal clear water but the island harbours a very dark secret. Unbeknownst to the thousands of holidaymakers and honeymooners who visit each year, there are large breeding farms which dominate the lush landscape and contain tens of thousands of monkeys who are doomed to be shipped across the globe to be used in experiments.
Primates normally live in close knit social groups, with complex family bonds. The BUAV has exposed trapping practices that routinely rip these families apart as wild animals are torn from their jungle homes, to be imprisoned behind bars on concrete within large farms where they are bred to produce offspring who will eventually themselves be exported for research; some as young as two years old.
Latest figures from January to March 2014 show Mauritius exported 2,095 long-tailed macaques to laboratories around the world, including in the USA, UK, Canada, Spain, France, Germany, and Mexico.
Many monkeys are used in toxicological (poisoning) research. Such testing can last for months during which the animals are dosed with chemicals or drugs through injection or forced ingestion. Others are used in neurological research which involves the implantation of electrodes and/or brain damage.
The long-tailed macaque is a curious and clever animal and has strong family relationships, living in groups that can reach over 30. If healthy, in the wild these fascinating monkeys can live up to 30 years old, spending a lot of time with family and social groups, grooming, foraging and playing. They are excellent swimmers and sleep in trees alongside rivers.
Too many lives and years of freedom are being stolen from these monkeys every day in Mauritius.
They Need Your Help and You can Make a Difference.
Sign the global petition to the Mauritius Prime Minster asking he end the capture and export of these intelligent, sentient animals.
Write to the Mauritius Embassy or Mauritius Tourism Promotion Agency in your country calling for an end to the cruel trade so that Mauritius can be a paradise for both human and non-human primates.
Contact Air France –the last known passenger airline which still allows primates from Mauritius to be transported on their flights – urging it to end its association with this cruel trade. Photos.