May 29, 2014, LOS ANGELES, CA – Animal Defenders International (ADI)has released shocking images from inside a huge facility in Spain that imports monkeys from Mauritius and sells them to the US and around the world for experiments. ADI’s undercover team discovered:
The Spanish “distribution-hub” is run by Noveprim, a huge international monkey dealer operating out of Indian Ocean island Mauritius, that traps monkeys in the wild and imprisons them on factory-farms to stock laboratories. Earlier this year, ADI exposed similar scenes of brutal handling and deprivation at Biodia, another Mauritian monkey trader based in Mauritius, and revealed that plans are underway to set up a Mauritian monkey farm in Labelle, Florida.
Over 70,000 monkeys are experimented on in the US each year; nearly 20,000 are imported by international monkey traders. Last year Mauritius sent nearly 3,000, making it the second largest monkey supplier to the US after China.
Despite the availability of advanced technology that can be used instead of animal experiments, in 2013 Noveprim exported 143 monkeys from its Mauritius farm via its Spanish center to Covance, a notorious animal testing laboratory with monkey facilities in Madison, WI and Alice, TX. In total, the monkeys will have endured a grueling, lonely and terrifying journey of at least 9,000 miles before they reached the US laboratory where more suffering and finally death is to follow.
Last year, Noveprim sent another 606 monkeys to three US animal laboratories directly from Mauritius:
US laboratories import 300-600 monkeys each year from Biodia, another Mauritian monkey dealer whose brutal operations were exposed by an ADI investigation earlier this year.
Jan Creamer, President of ADI: “Our investigations show casual brutality and suffering at every step of the laboratory monkey trade; from snatching intelligent, emotional and sensitive monkeys from their wild homes, to the horrific journeys they endure, only to suffer and die in pointless experiments, when alternative technology is already available. Two major Mauritian laboratory monkey suppliers are shown to treat their animals with no regard to the terror and suffering they inflict. If the Mauritian monkey farm goes ahead in Florida, we can expect similar animal brutality on US soil. It is time for the US to take action to end this trade and replace animal tests with faster, cheaper and scientifically superior advanced technologies.”
ADI is urging the US to take immediate action to stop the horrendous suffering that pervades the animal experiment industry, warning that unless the US puts a stop to the planned primate breeding facility in Labelle, FL and other facilities like it, they can expect the animals sent there to experience the same terrible suffering.
In US animal laboratories monkeys are used mainly to test drugs or for neurological research. Animals typically endure force-feeding or injections of experimental compounds; electrodes implanted into their brains; full body immobilization in restraint chairs while they are experimented on. Investigations of laboratories by ADI have found monkeys suffering rectal prolapse from the stress of being restrained, blackened lungs, trembling, collapse, bleeding, and self-mutilation, including one animal who chewed his finger to the bone. Most monkeys are killed at the end of the experiment, but others are forced to endure years in barren laboratory cages and may be subject to fighting from which they cannot escape.
Numerous initiatives around the world are aimed at moving away from using animals and towards advanced alternatives. There are a number of alternatives to monkey experiments, including: microdosing, where tiny amounts of new drugs are safely given to human volunteers – significantly more accurate at assessing the way a product is absorbed, broken down and passed through the body than primate models; biochips, which mimic human organs on USB-sized chips “providing comprehensive toxicity data very quickly and cheaply,” 3-D tissue engineering which mimics a complete human body system more accurately than animal models, and QSAR which predicts the toxicity of drugs through comparison with similar substances.