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International primate trade

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Title: International primate trade  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Roger Fouts, Cruelty to animals, Great Ape Project, Animal Welfare Board of India, Norm Phelps
Collection: Animal Rights, Animal Testing, Cruelty to Animals, Primate Trade, Trade by Commodity
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

International primate trade

Animal testing

Main articles
Animal testing
Alternatives to animal testing
Testing on: invertebrates
frogs · primates
rabbits · rodents
Animal testing regulations
History of animal testing
History of model organisms
Laboratory animal sources
Pain and suffering in lab animals
Testing cosmetics on animals
Toxicology testing

Biomedical research
Animal rights · Animal welfare
Animals (Scientific Procedures)
Great ape research ban
International trade in primates

Brown Dog affair
Cambridge University primates
Pit of despair
Silver Spring monkeys
UCR 1985 laboratory raid
Unnecessary Fuss

Jackson Laboratory
Charles River Laboratories, Inc.
Covance · Harlan
Huntingdon Life Sciences
UK lab animal suppliers
Nafovanny · Shamrock

Americans for Medical Progress
Boyd Group · BUAV
Dr Hadwen Trust
Foundation for Biomedical
National Anti-Vivisection Society
New England Anti-Vivisection Society
PETA · Physicians Committee
for Responsible Medicine

Primate Freedom Project
Speaking of Research
Understanding Animal Research

Tipu Aziz · Michael Balls
Neal Barnard · Colin Blakemore
Simon Festing · Gill Langley
Ingrid Newkirk · Bernard Rollin
Jerry Vlasak · Syed Ziaur Rahman

Animal testing · Animal rights
Animal welfare

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The international trade in primates sees 32,000 wild non-human primates (NHPs) trapped and sold on the international market every year. They are sold mostly for use in animal testing, but also for food, for exhibition in zoos and circuses, and for private use as companion animals.


  • Countries involved 1
  • How the NHPs are caught and held 2
  • Animal testing 3
  • See also 4
  • Notes 5

Countries involved

The United States imports around one third of all NHPs sold internationally, with the United Kingdom importing the second highest number. Japan, Russia, The Netherlands, France, and Taiwan also rank among the top importing countries.

The NHPs are exported from Indonesia, Malaysia, Kenya, Thailand, Philippines, Mauritius, Amazonian regions across South America, and China, where they exist indigenously.

How the NHPs are caught and held

They are caught by local villagers and farmers, who set traps with baited nets and or by laying bait in crates. Entire families may be caught in the nets, with any undesirable NHPs being killed and sold for food.

Those who survive are taken in crates to holding centers, possibly without food or water. The centers are reportedly overcrowded and dirty; the primates may not be able to stand in the crates, and many die. Others are weeded out because they are ill, too thin, or too old, with females and babies being the most desirable.[1]

According to a 1992 investigation by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, 75% of the NHPs may be killed at the holding centers.[2]

Animal testing

NHPs may be imported into the U.S. and sold for "scientific, educational, or exhibition purposes," and for use in breeding colonies. According to the AESOP Project, the majority of NHPs are imported to the U.S. to be used in laboratories.

23,465 non-human primates destined for laboratories or laboratory suppliers were imported into the U.S. in 2014 including Macaques, Grivets and Capuchins. The majority of these animals were from China, Mauritius, Cambodia and Vietnam, respectively. Covance, Charles River Laboratories and SNBL USA are the largest U.S. importers of monkeys destined for laboratories.[3]

Airlines have been under "significant pressure" from PETA and other groups to end their transport of monkeys and other animals to laboratories.[4] According to PETA, over 110 airlines refuse to transport monkeys to laboratories, many after being the target of the animal welfare group’s campaigns.[5]

As of 2015, Air France remains the last major airline to still transport nonhuman primates to laboratories. While Air France has defended the practice, saying the use of monkeys in research is needed, others including PETA, Jane Goodall, James Cromwell and Peter Gabriel have criticized the airline.[6]

Between 1995 and 1999, 1,580 wild baboons were imported into the United States.[7]

See also


  1. ^ Howard, Linda & Jones, Dena. "Trafficking in Misery: The Primate Trade", Animal Issues, Volume 31, Number 3, Fall 2000.
  2. ^ "Next of kin", British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection.
  3. ^ "U.S. primate import statistics for 2014". International Primate Protection League. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  4. ^ Wadman, Meredith (20 March 2012). "Activists ground primate flights". Nature. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "Airlines That DO and That DO NOT Ship Primates to Labs". PETA. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  6. ^ Meikle, James (20 May 2014). "Jane Goodall and Peter Gabriel urge Air France to stop ferrying lab monkeys". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  7. ^ Figures from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, LEMIS (Law Enforcement Management Information Service), cited in Howard, Linda & Jones, Dena. "Trafficking in Misery: The Primate Trade", Animal Issues, Volume 31, Number 3, Fall 2000.
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