23rd January 2016
Australia considers banning imports of monkeys for research
Cruelty Free international gives expert evidence
Although one of the largest users of animals in harmful experiments worldwide, Australia has not imported macaque monkeys for research since 2009. Now the government is consulting on whether they should keep it that way.
We carried out an investigation in 2009 confirming serious concerns about the trade in wild-caught macaques from Indonesia. Following this, Senator Lee Rhiannon introduced a private members bill to the Senate to ban primate imports for research.
In November 2015 the bill was re-presented and has been referred to inquiry by the Senate Environment and Communications Committee.
Between 2000-2009, Australia imported[i]:
- 331 pig-tailed macaques listed on the IUCN Red List from Indonesia
- 250 crab-eating macaques listed on the IUCN Red List from Indonesia
- 71 owl monkeys listed on the IUCN Red List from the US.
In 2014 the government reported that 37 marmosets had been imported from France.
This week we submitted a detailed report including recent evidence to the Senate Committee highlighting the impact of trapping and transport of monkeys from SE Asia on their welfare and the local environment.
We also raised the significant public and scientific concerns about the use of monkeys in research.
We urge the Australian government to use this important inquiry to do the right thing and ban the import of monkeys for experiments.
[i] According to data from CITES (Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species)