As often as we talk about animal testing, we aren’t always able to discover exactly where the animals in labs have come from. In some cases, we know they are acquired through Class B dealers, though this practice is being phased out. The majority of lab animals are from Class A dealers, meaning they are bred in facilities for research purposes.

Recently, a team of investigators at Animal Defenders International (ADI) went undercover at a Class A primate breeding facility, Biodia, located on the island of Mauritius. This facility is one of the largest suppliers of laboratory animals in the world, and what goes on inside is something that we should not tolerate.

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Biodia captures monkeys from the wild to sell to research facilities or use for breeding purposes. The undercover footage captured by ADI is heartbreaking to watch, and even difficult to read about. The video shows a wide range of horrifying abuses such as baby monkeys being torn from their mothers to be tattooed for identification, and monkeys being brutally handled for “routine” procedures.

This type of treatment is not uncommon, and the numbers of monkeys being imported to the U.S. for research is staggering.

ADI reports, “Over 70,000 monkeys are used in cruel experiments in the USA, with 20,000 monkeys being imported into the country for companies such as Covance, Charles River and Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories.”

Now, ADI’s investigation “has revealed that Biodia’s U.S. trading partner Prelabs has plans to ‘establish the first Mauritius breeding colony in the US’ in Labelle, Florida.”

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This move is appalling for so many reasons. Countries in the European Union and elsewhere have made the move away from experiments on monkeys, and yet the U.S. is planning to expand its operations? We just can’t see the sense in that. In addition, monkeys and other primates are intelligent and sentient animals with their own needs and lives. We should not be performing experiments on them, instead, we should be focusing on alternatives and moving past this cruel stage in our nation’s history.

What You Can Do To Help

Airlines all over the world need to be held responsible for their role in importing monkeys for research purposes. You can contact Air France KLM, which ADI says, according to a senior Biodia staff member, “can take a pallet of 80 animals” and “continues to fly out monkeys from Mauritius.” Tell them that you will be flying with other airlines until they pledge to stop transporting primates for research.

Contact your Congressional representatives via the US House of Representatives Directory and the US Senate’s List of Senators and urge them put an end to the importation of monkeys for experiments and breeding and an overall phase-out the use of monkeys in research. We’ve already made headway with freeing chimpanzees used in research, and you can mention how other countries (like those in the European Union) have put an end to this practice.

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