Tuesday 28 November 2023 | 2

Animal testing: investigation from One Voice in Mauritius into long-tailed macaque breeding farms

Animal testing: investigation from One Voice in Mauritius into long-tailed macaque breeding farms

Mis à jour le 15 March 2024

The island of Mauritius is one of the main countries dealing in monkeys for animal testing. By infiltrating this secret environment, our investigators are able to bring back exclusive footage and witness statements on the scandalous practices.

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There are seven breeding ‘farms’ set up on the island of Mauritius, as close as possible to the natural habitat of the primates that they sell for the global animal testing industry. Each year, Bio Culture, Noveprim, Biodia, Biosphere, Les Campeches Ltd, Cynologics, and Le Tamarinier send more than 10,000 long-tailed macaques to laboratories in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Spain, and... France. Within the European Union, our country is in fact one of the main importers of these primates that are actually classified as in danger of extinction on the IUCN’s red list of endangered species.

A risky infiltration

Officially, these monkey factories can be ‘visited’ if we rely, of course, on their management services that are used to presenting them in their best light. We preferred to go behind the scenes to observe the way they function as closely as possible and to unveil the daily reality for the animals that are held prisoner here. At the cost of an enormous risk, our investigators managed to infiltrate six of them. What they discovered confirms what we suspected, along with our partner Action for Primates who put their information together to prepare for this investigation: many monkeys are regularly caught in traps in the forest in order to feed the breeding farms with ‘fresh meat’ and maintain genetic diversity.

Captured in the wild

The information provided to our investigators by whistle-blowers who wish to remain anonymous is clear... Curled up behind the mesh of the nets, long-tailed macaques have often been imprisoned for several days before the trappers come to collect their traps from the depths of the jungle. Famished and thirsty, the adults and babies only have the strength to grasp hold of each other in a desperate gesture... And it is without the slightest resistance, terrorised, that they let themselves be violently caged in transport carriers. Humans mock their distress.

Put into quarantine

When they arrive at the breeding farms, the little monkeys are brutally taken out of the carriers. Grabbed by the tail and neck, their arms pinned against their backs, all of them are isolated in turn in cages that are just as minuscule as they are bleak. Their whining or resolute silence is met with laughter or indifference from the staff. Then quarantine begins... And this is just a taste of what is to come.

Killed unless they are good for breeding

Before long, the prisoners are tattooed with an identification number. They are also subjected to an array of tests to check their state of health. Those injured during the capture, or those who are infertile, sick, or have been affected by a simple skin condition are killed without batting an eyelid: they are just a piece of rubbish. As for the others, they are sent to the ‘enclosures’, where there are already dozens of other monkeys enclosed, to be used for breeding. We are showing their miserable living conditions where stress is palpable everywhere. Due to overcrowding in the cages, epidemics are rife, particularly of bovine tuberculosis. The employees then start the mass slaughters: up to 200 monkeys per day!

Babies for laboratories

Theoretically, the first generation babies escape testing in the European Union: subjecting F1 macaques to tests has been banned in the EU since November 2022. But in practice… hardly anyone worries about it and the labs even less so. In all cases, primates are condemned to being kept captive and suffering for their whole lives.

We already know - thanks to the documents we had access to and then to the evidence we have gathered regarding the Silabe platform, linked with the University of Strasbourg - that the little monkeys were exported in batches of a hundred in France at the young age of one and a half years, and this investigation has told us that they are torn from their mother’s arms from the age of 6-8 months to get them used to contact with humans early on and to be docile.

Impregnated as intended, they are then ‘ready’, whenever requested, to fulfil orders to be subjected to painful procedures in our country, in Europe, and across the Atlantic.

Finishing with this scandal!

This investigation follows our constant action to put an end to the use of macaques in laboratories. We have already made Air France put a stop to transporting them. We need to go further. Strengthened by our latest revelations, we are counting on public policy-makers to take responsibility and change the situation.

For years, MPs have expressed their concerns to the European Commission on the subject of trapping wild macaques in Mauritius. Others must follow their example and our leaders must not retreat from animal testing lobbies. They often hide behind a mask when they come forward to better impose their laws. For example, they often say they are ‘CNRS researchers’ rather than clearly stating that they are Gircor* representatives… Help us to call on the authorities to put an end to the importation, trade, and use of long-tailed macaques in France and in the European Union, sign our petition!

*Groupe Interprofessionnel de Réflexion et de Communication sur la Recherche [Interprofessional Focus and Communication Group for Research]

Translated from the French by Joely Justice

Marie-Sophie Bazin
Hr blog

In the subject

Atrocity and abundance of animal experimentation projects in France: the banality of everyday life One Voice is asking France to encourage alternative methods to animal testing in the EU

Comments 2

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

Cd | Thursday 01 February 2024

Put an end to all animal experimentation.

trochu | Tuesday 28 November 2023

Scandaleux, abominable et inacceptable ! Comment est-ce encore possible de pouvoir aller capturer des singes dans leur environnement naturel pour les acheminer vers l'enfer que sont les laboratoires de la honte ? Plus que révoltant et plus qu'attristant... Pourquoi ces exploitations de singes sont-elles encore autorisées en France alors que l'on connaît leur grande intelligence, leur grande similitude avec l'humain (ou ce qu'il en reste), leur grande sensibilité, etc ? Nous devons tout faire afin de faire interdire toutes ces horreurs immondes et odieuses à l'encontre de ces êtres vivants, car ce n'est que bouleversant.