Until a British doctor became involved, a group of primates led a miserable existence in a Chilean animal-testing laboratory. Jonathan Brown visited them in their new home
The monkey house is in a frenzy. Overhead a procession of capuchins, a small and disarmingly intelligent primate normally found in the forests of Central and South America, streams across a specially designed walkway. The occasional yelp pierces the thick humidity of the enclosure as they climb, pick and stuff their faces with food in a constant blur of activity.
The fact that these diminutive animals are revelling so vigorously in their new-found space is perhaps unremarkable considering that, for the previous 20 years, they were entombed in tiny, individual stainless steel cages, suspended from the wall of a laboratory in Santiago, Chile. For most, the only occasions on which they left these solitary redoubts were to undergo experimentation by scientists working for the pharmaceutical industry.
Some bear visible scars of their time in the lab � angry gashes running the length of their rib cages. Others have been operated on as recently as four weeks ago. All have been saved from a life that bore little resemblance to that which nature intended.
The person who has delivered them to what could one day be a near-normal existence is Dr Alison Cronin, the director of Monkey World, the ape rescue centre nestling in Dorset's bucolic Frome Valley. In a triumphant culmination to an 18-month project � the largest rescue operation for non-human primates ever staged � this Californian-born scientist has brought all 88 monkeys safely to the UK to begin the long process of rehabilitation.
Chilean primate research centre CLOSED DOWN!!!!
We have excellent news, the primate research centre owned by the Universidad Católica, in Chile, has been closed. After the centre was exposed by an undercover investigation during the summer of 2003, and a constant campaign to close it down that started on April of 2006, last Saturday the 88 monkeys kept inside this hell were taken to Monkey World by a Chilean Air Force plane, and arrived yesterday to England. It is being said that this has been the greater rescue of monkeys ever done in the world.
We were all informed here in Chile by a TV news article, given by a channel owned by the same university that had the centre, so they tried to clean their image and show a "nice" centre. Obviously they did not mention campaigns, but people know why it was closed and know that this is just the first vivisection place to be closed in Chile.
This is a victory for the animals, and for every animal rights activist in the world that works to end vivisection and animal abuse. These 88 monkeys are free because activists campaigned constantly, were perseverant and did not stop when the university tried to halt the campaign with their lawsuits and aggressions to activists. This is a demonstration of the power the serious and hard work can do focusing on a single target, with the commitment of activists.
We want to thank everyone who helped us in this campaign, with materials, suggestions, spreading information, and anything done to help the monkeys. We are sure this will give more force to every campaign and is a kick to the vivisection industry. Having finished here will allow us to find a new vivisection target and dedicate more time to international campaigns, such as SHAC.
Coalición por los Derechos Animales � CDA