While welcoming the action taken by the police and officers from the Ministry of Agro-Industry in seizing the monkeys in Jin Fei, Action for Primates is extremely concerned about the welfare and well-being of the monkeys.
Action for Primates is calling for the recently seized 440 long-tailed macaques to be returned to the wild. We have written to the Mauritius Ministry of Agro-Industry urging the authorities to show compassion by returning these individuals, victims of an illegal trade, to their natural habitat, rather than to hand them over to companies where they will likely be used for breeding or exported to laboratories where they will suffer and be killed.
While welcoming the action taken by the police and officers from the Ministry of Agro-Industry in seizing the monkeys in Jin Fei, Action for Primates is extremely concerned about the welfare and well-being of the monkeys. We are calling on the authorities for full transparency regarding the current situation and fate of these unfortunate individuals, including allowing a visit by a representative from an independent animal welfare group to assess the conditions in which they are currently being held at the Biosphere Trading facility.
Concerns from the authorities that the monkeys have lost their ability to find food in the wild are misplaced. Dr Nedim Buyukmihci, professor emeritus of veterinary medicine at the University of California-Davis, who has been working with non-human primates for many years, responded to this concern: “There is no question that these monkeys are wild animals, despite having been in cages for the last several months. I know from long experience that such individuals retain their ability to live and find food in their natural homes. These monkeys have already suffered greatly as a result of being trapped, removed from their homes and imprisoned in cages. They need to be shown compassion by releasing them back to their homes where they can reunite with family and friends.”
Action for Primates hopes that the current widespread interest and concern for these monkeys in Mauritius will raise awareness about the plight of long-tailed macaques in the country. The trade in monkeys has expanded in recent years, with almost 12,000 individuals exported from Mauritius in 2022 to the US and Europe for research and toxicity (poisoning) testing. Many of these individuals were caught in the wild and supplied to US laboratories. The continuing exploitation and persecution of macaques in Mauritius is highly disturbing. Regardless of any negative perceptions or how they arrived on the island, they are still living, sentient beings. Action for Primates believes that they deserve protection and to be treated humanely, not killed or captured to be exported to suffer and die. The international reputation of Mauritius as a holiday destination is tarnished by its cruel trade in monkeys’ lives.
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She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.