I am going back a long time – around 1985 or near to that.
I was part of a local and effective animal rights group which had been formed by my Joanne – white ‘Paradise Lost’ T shirt; black pants; blonde tied back hair, see photos below.
We decided a few of us (3 or 4) from our group would meet with other campaigners in central London to an impromptu demo for the BUAV ‘Paradise Lost’ campaign at the Mauritanian Embassy, which is located in central London; calling for the Mauritian government to stop the supply of research primates to European laboratories.
We had with us our very impressive ‘sad lab primate’ on the day – a costume worn by one very agile campaigner, the sad face reflecting that it had been torn from the wild and was destined for lab research in another land – far away from its original home in Mauritius.
I was the group photographer on the day; and in my photos you can see Joanne – in a white ‘Paradise Lost’ T shirt; black pants; blonde tied back hair, and ‘Big Malc’ (Malcom) who you can just see the head of behind the big Paradise Lost poster; and Leanne; the dark haired girl between the two of them. I don’t know who the other folk were; but we all got together and made our voices know outside the embassy. All the photos are taken directly in front of the Mauritanian embassy.
We attracted lots of Press; and the guys from the papers really loved our human sized sad primate; who ended up climbing and swinging from a few lamp posts for even more attention and media coverage of what was behind the demo.
‘Big Malc’ (behind and holding the poster / banner) was a member of the group and a great mate. I last met him about eight or nine years ago in a supermarket. He had all these Mauri type tattoos over his arms and face; and him and I were the only 2 people in the aisle. I think all the shoppers had been frightened off by his appearance; but we stopped and had a really good chat. He was the only guy I have ever seen eat a whole, raw Cauliflower when we did a stall in our local town. Despite his big size and tattoos everywhere; he was one of the gentlest and lovely people you could ever wish to meet.
So, what, 35 years later, I was very annoyed (to be politically correct) to see this article in the national press a day or so ago. Still primates are being imported into British labs which had their original home in Mauritius. They are the long-tailed macaques – 6,120 from this (usually) paradise place. 35 years on since our demo in London, and STILL primates are being used in crap experiments.- now I guess the researchers have another excuse for their justification – and its called Covid,
35 years later and Mauritius is still giving innocent primates to the labs of the world.
What do you do except produce a post like this to try and get a point across.
The figures are based on permits issued by the government-run Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). But activists say that more primates may also have been imported for lab tests from within the EU.
As the article says: Britain has banned tests on wild primates but still allows them to be brought in and sold as pets and allows their offspring to be imported for research. In other words, nothing has changed from when were on the streets of Ol’ London town all those years ago.
Here is the article for you to read more about the disgusting lab primate trade. 35 years ago it was ‘Paradise Lost’ for the primates; sadly, today it still is !
Article: from ‘The Independent’, London.
Primates imported to UK for laboratory experiments ‘triple in a year to 6,752’
Experts warned the steep rise risks spreading diseases that could be fatal to humans. Monkeys can pass viruses including avian flu, Sars and vCJD to people.
Authorities handed out permits last year for an “unusually high” 6,752 monkeys and monkey tissue parts to be flown in and sent to laboratories, where chemicals or drugs would be tested on them. Primate-welfare workers are demanding to know why numbers shot up.
The figures are based on permits issued by the government-run Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). But activists say that more primates may also have been imported for lab tests from within the EU, where there are several primate-breeding companies, but the agency does not have to record them.
Britain has banned tests on wild primates but still allows them to be brought in and sold as pets and allows their offspring to be imported for research.
In 2018 – the most recent data available – the number of experiments on primates in the UK rose by 8 per cent, to 3,170. Most of these – 2,900 – were carried out on long-tailed macaques, of which four-fifths were testing the toxicity of chemicals or drugs.
Sarah Kite, of Action for Primates (AfP), said the level of imports was unusually high, calling for the APHA to provide reasons for the sudden increase.
In 2018, 2,666 long-tailed macaques were imported to the UK from Mauritius and Vietnam, Cites data shows. In 2017, it was about 1,000. But last year, APHA permits were given for 6,790 imports, including 38 for “breeding”. Of these, 25 were squirrel monkeys and seven black lion tamarin monkeys.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said a number of tissue samples, such as blood or saliva, could be taken from one animal, but each sample could have a permit so the actual number of live animals imported was lower than 6,790.
Ms Kite said: “The UK has, over the years, continued to perpetuate a trade that centres on the cruel trapping of wild animals.”
Importing the offspring of wild animals for tests helps fund the capture of monkeys from their habitats, AfP says.
“The capture of wild monkeys inflicts significant suffering and distress. Primates are highly social animals, and trapping and removing them from their habitats, families and social groups is cruel. It can also result in injuries or even death,” she said.
Globally, the long-tailed macaque is the most heavily traded primate and the most widely used in research. Experiments on them to assess their reactions to drugs or chemicals involve restraining the animals and injecting them with the drugs or force-feeding them through a tube down to the stomach.
The black lion tamarin, native to Sao Paulo in Brazil, is officially endangered.
Permits last for up to six months so some of the 6,790 animals may have been imported this year.
Monkeys bought for breeding will have gone to zoos or the pet trade, it is believed, after previous surveys found thousands of primates are kept as pets in the UK.
Ms Kite also warned of the disease risk, pointing out that the US banned imports of primates for the pet trade as long ago as 1975 because of the risk of disease.
The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention states: “Non-human primates may carry infectious diseases that are dangerous and sometimes fatal to humans.”
China has long been the key supplier of macaques for international research but the country’s ban on the trade and transport of wild animals following the coronavirus outbreak, along with the USA-China trade war, has effectively ended its trade, prompting countries such as the US to look for other sources for lab monkeys.
Africa and Mauritius are the next biggest suppliers of long-tailed macaques for research. But hundreds of primates are also captured each year from tropical rainforests in South America.
Action for Primates is part of the Campaign to End Wildlife Trade, a coalition calling on the UK government to fight for a global ban in wildlife trade at the G20 meeting in November and to end the import and export of wild animals into the UK.
The Independent’s Stop The Wildlife Trade campaign was launched by its proprietor Evgeny Lebedev to call for an end to high-risk wildlife markets and for an international effort to regulate the illegal trade in wild animals to reduce our risk of future pandemics.
A government spokesperson said: “The UK has one of the most comprehensive animal welfare systems in the world, and we are committed to the proper regulation of the use of animals in scientific research.
“All research must implement the 3Rs – replacement, reduction and refinement – which require that animals are replaced with non-animal alternatives wherever possible and the number of animals used is reduced to the minimum needed to achieve the results sought.
“For those animals which must be used, procedures are refined as much as possible to minimise their suffering.”