Campaign history - Primates
The latest available statistics (from 2011) show that EU member states used 6,095 non-human primates for research, the main users being France (1,810), Germany (1,770) and the UK (1,459). It is likely that the current number is much higher as in Germany alone the number of non-human primates used was 3,525 in 2017. The majority of primates used are Old World monkeys which include macaques, baboons and the African Green monkey. Some New World monkeys are also used such as squirrel monkeys, marmosets and tamarins. All these species are listed under Appendix II of CITES (the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species) – meaning that the species could become endangered if trade is not controlled.
Torn from the wild
Many of the primates used in European laboratories are imported from countries outside of the EU. Some are taken from the wild in countries such as Mauritius, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Tanzania and Barbados. Others will have either been born (known as F1 generation) or bred (known as F2 plus generation) in captivity in their country of origin from breeding colonies often permitted to be 're-stocked' with monkeys taken directly from the wild. F1 generation primates are those where one or both parents have been captured from the wild.
Poisoned to death
Most primates are used in toxicological (poisoning) tests. Such testing can last for months, during which the primates are dosed daily with chemicals or drugs through injection or forced ingestion. Fundamental (curiosity driven) research is also common and may include studies in neurological research and other human disease. Many of these primate studies involve the implantation of electrodes and/or brain damage. Despite the general physical similarity between nonhuman primates and humans, this does not mean that the effect of a chemical or drug will be the same in both species. In fact, the results from experiments on monkeys can differ from humans as much as any other species. Because of biological differences between humans and other primates, as well as the unnatural conditions in which the primates must live, the results of such research cannot be reliably extrapolated to humans. The ECEAE is against experiments on all animals irrespective of the species.
Say No to Air France
For transport, the nonhuman primates are crammed into small boxes which travel as cargo in the fuselage of passenger aircraft. On these long-haul flights, monkeys suffer hunger and thirst, anxiety and stress from noise, extreme temperature and poor ventilation. Many do not survive the ordeal. Over the years, the ECEAE has run several campaigns to stop the trade with nonhuman primates in order to reduce their availability to the research industry in Europe. Years of protests from the ECEAE has caused almost all airlines to stop transporting monkeys. The dirty business is now operated only by a few airlines, including Air France as the last European passenger airline. Air France has been a campaign target of the ECEAE for many years.
Save the monkeys from Mauritius
Mauritius is the second largest exporter worldwide for long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) after China. Every year, the island sells thousands of monkeys to the animal testing industry in the US and Europe, especially France, the UK and Germany. For many years, The ECEAE has launched various protest and letter campaigns to the Embassies of Mauritius, the tourist industry of Mauritius as well as international travel companies.