Urgent message from the BUAV:
News of a shocking discovery - right here on our own doorstep.
(For fuller details, see www.buav.org )
(This transcription is abridged for email by the transcriber)
"Imagine the scene. We are on a deserted road in the Spanish countryside. The
intense heat beats down on the olive groves; insect sounds fill the hot air. Any
traveller might take a photograph of this tranquil scene.
But we are not on our holidays. We are on a mission.
We step off the road and walk through the olive groves until our path is blocked
by, of all things, an electrified fence. We can hear animals crying out. Beyond
the fence, a building site, and next to the building site row upon row of
barren, concrete cages baking in the sun. Unbelievably, we can see monkeys,
hundreds of macaque monkeys. They are crying out because they are terrified. Men
wearing masks over their faces have entered one of the cages and are pursuing
them, catching them roughly by the tails.
This is not a nightmare. This is what our investigators actually witnessed and
photographed not far from Barcelona, Spain, only weeks ago.
Hidden away among the olive groves is what they call a "primate breeding and
supply facility". A few years ago, the BUAV campaigned to stop its construction
starting. I even met with the town's mayor to argue our case. Subsequently, the
local authorities banned any further developments like this in the region, but
we couldn't stop this one. Three years ago it all went quiet, some people said
it had closed down, but the BUAV continued to watch. Now, our monitoring has
uncovered massive development and expansion. If the animal experimentation
industry has its way, this is where thousands of primates will be shipped to
from their homes in Mauritius. Here they will wait out a miserable existence
until they are shipped again to a laboratory somewhere in Europe where they will
be subjected to who knows what kind of abuse and lingering death.
.... this supply centre is an inherently cruel and inappropriate place for
macaques. We have shown pictures to a professor of veterinary medicine. He was
appalled to see only concrete and metal as the monkeys` habitat.
But we shouldn't be surprised. The ownership of this centre can be traced back
to Covance, the German contract animal testing company, disgraced in 2004
following another BUAV undercover investigation that discovered primates being
horribly abused in their laboratories.
.... Ever since our investigations in the 1990s led to the UK ban on wild-caught
primate experiments, our work and determination has pushed back the research
industry. The Research Defence Society says that restrictions in Europe would
"pretty much wipe out primate research because we do not have enough capacity."
So, at a time when there is growing acceptance that primates, our closest
relatives, should be experimented on less, it is outrageous that the animal
experimentation industry is trying to counter restrictions by developing this
facility on our own doorstep. This centre in Spain could provide an almost
unlimited supply of primates for European laboratories.
This new evidence strengthens our case to influence the revision of a key
European law on animal experimentation (Directive 86/609) and further restrict
the use of primates. We need .... to bring this shocking evidence to the
attention of politicians and legislators. We also need more money to continue
monitoring this centre and other places.
There are almost 1,000 monkeys caged and hidden away among these olive groves.
The owners are building cages for at least 3,000. The animal experimentation
industry thinks their nasty secret is well concealed and that people don't care.
Michelle Thew, BUAV.
Abridged for email transcription by John Oswald.
JOHN OSWALD`S NOTE (NOT PART OF THE BUAV COMMUNIQUE):-
Make yourself a vow to not let a day pass until this centre of ignominy is shut
down! Remember that inactivity is the worst crime in the face of injustice,
unless physical or mental infirmity necessitate it. Otherwise, inactivity is
complicity, even if you say you are appalled. But any activity, no matter how
small, is liberating. DO NOT CEASE to notify friends and organisations every day
of this atrocity until it is shut down. We owe this not only to the macaques but
to the thousands of humans who die each year as a result of vivisection
hindering real medical progress.