Macaques in the Muddy Confluence

I am waiting in Kuala Lumpur for my connecting flight to India, and reading about Malaysia’s Macaques:

In 1984, the Government banned the export of the macaque after their peninsula population dropped 25% between 1957 and 1975, when their trade was unregulated and the monkeys were routinely caught for export to exotic food kitchens in East Asia and animal-testing laboratories in the West.

In 2007, the export ban on macaques, was temporarily lifted in what appeared to have been a measure to get rid of urban macaques—by selling them for meat or as research subjects. There was much objection by animal activists and conservation groups and the ban was reinstated last year.

But while Malaysia’s Macaques may not be exported for research, Malaysia may be the home of a new primate research facility experimenting on macaques from China, Indonesia and Vietnam.

British Union to Abolish Vivisection and The International Primate Protection League organized a protest at the end of June against the proposed facility in Johor

Sarah Kite, Director of Special Projects for the BUAV says “We are concerned that European research companies, in an effort to avoid the growing public criticism of animal experimentation and attempts to impose tighter restrictions on the use of primates within the EU, may be looking to set up primate facilities in countries where regulations are more lax. This appears to be the case in Malaysia, where there is reportedly no legislation governing the use of animals in research. The use of non-human primates in research is being questioned internationally most recently in the European Union, by scientists as well as others. The establishment of a primate facility in Malaysia would encourage further use of these animals at a time when this very practice is being challenged.”

Dr Shirley McGreal, Founder and Chairwoman of the International Primate Protection League says: “The Malaysian government recently decided that it would not allow the export of its own indigenous population of macaques for research purposes so it would be inconsistent for them if they considered allowing a foreign company to do the very same with macaques imported from neighbouring countries.”

A muddy confuence indeed!

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~ by sangamithra on July 16, 2009.

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