EXCLUSIVE: VOYAGE TO HELL
Doomed monkeys in horror trip to UK labs
By Louisa Pilbeam
HUNDREDS of monkeys are being squashed into tiny cages then flown to the UK for horrific deaths in testing laboratories.
The macaques are torn from their parents in the wilds of Mauritius then sent to a farm in north-east Spain.
Squawking in panic in the unbearable heat, they are then sent here to be INJECTED, BURNED and MUTILATED by scientists.
The shocking pictures were taken by animal rights group Animal Defenders International (ADI). The factory is owned by French firm Noveprim and sells about 500 monkeys for vivisection in Europe every year.
The ADI's Allison Tuffrey Jones said: "The monkeys are kept in appalling conditions. They are thrown into these tiny cages that have no solid base so they're forced to stand on cold metal bars. They spend more than six hours travelling then are taken to labs for big drugs firms and government bodies."
Many monkeys are dead on arrival from the stress of the trip and cramped, hot conditions.
British Airways now refuses to transport live animals into the UK because they believe it is too dangerous.
But the Government continues to test on monkeys. The UK is already Europe's largest user of laboratory monkeys, followed by France and Germany.
The use of monkeys in military experiments has soared by 76 per cent in the last five years.
Monkeys are exposed to anthrax while others receive fatal doses of poison gas and lethal nerve agents and burns.
And those used in medical tests have parts of their brain removed so scientists can assess their learning ability. Others have equipment implanted in their heads. Both actions leave the monkeys mentally impaired, says the ADI. Ms Tuffrey Jones added: "Most people don't realise the torture these monkeys endure.
"In many cases they're killed even if they survive the tests."
The Medical Research Council has recently expanded primate research at Porton Down, Wilts.
The centre uses more than 21,000 animals every year for testing - up from 14,000 three years ago.
But the MRC said monkeys are only used for medical research as a last resort and they do not necessarily want to increase their numbers.
The Home Office added: "The use of primates in medical testing is rare but invaluable. It provides the best hope of a breakthrough in treating Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, in what causes miscarriages, and may help scientists tackle Aids and malaria."
East Anglia Animal Rights Coalition
PO Box 487,
Telephone 07788 404 074