Primate Rescue Center

Jane Goodall Speaks Out Against Mauritius Monkey Trade

Erika Fleury August 06, 2015

Internationally renowned primatologist, Dr Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace, has joined animal protection organization Cruelty Free International to speak out against the Mauritius monkey trade.

Image courtesy Save Our Monkeys

Despite being one of the world’s largest suppliers of primates for experiments, Mauritius is considered a ‘paradise’ island for holidaymakers and this year the Government is trying to promote the country’s image as a green or ethical tourist destination.

Dr Goodall has raised her concerns about the cruel exploitation of monkeys from Mauritius and is calling on people to contact the Mauritius Ministry of Tourism urging it to take action to end the suffering inflicted on the country’s primate population.

Carlos is a long tailed macaque rescued by the PRC from the pet trade. 

Dr Jane Goodall told Cruelty Free International: “I am shocked and saddened to learn about the capture and breeding of the long tailed macaque of Mauritius, and the export of their young for research. I have spent years learning about primates: they are highly intelligent and form close social bonds that can last for life. The trade in living monkeys and knowledge of the terrible suffering this is causing has led to increasing international concern and is tarnishing the image of Mauritius as an idyllic paradise island. A number of people have told me they will no longer consider visiting. I appeal to people to contact the Mauritius Tourism Ministry and urge it to take steps to end this cruel, inhumane trade – not only for the monkeys but also the many people of Mauritius who benefit from eco-tourism.”



In 2014, Mauritius exported 8,991 monkeys to laboratories, primarily in the USA and Europe (in particular the UK, France, Spain and Germany). Across the island, breeding farms contain tens of thousands of monkeys, many of whom were captured from the wild and imprisoned; their offspring are transported to laboratories around the world for use in experiments. 

A recent opinion poll commissioned by Cruelty Free International revealed that 92% of tourists and potential tourists interviewed were not aware of the island’s export of monkeys for experiments. The survey found that over half (53%) of those who had been, want to go or would consider going on a holiday to Mauritius would not want to visit or revisit the island and would reconsider choosing Mauritius as a holiday destination after learning about the island’s monkey trade. 



Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International, said: “We welcome Dr Jane Goodall’s support and hope that the Mauritius Government quickly recognises the fact that the monkey trade is tarnishing the country’s reputation. We urge Mauritius to say no to the cruelty and suffering that is being inflicted on these highly social and intelligent wild animals. If you would like to join us in ending the cruel trade and export of Mauritian monkeys for research, please sign the Save Our Monkeys petition today. Mauritius should be a paradise for everyone, including the monkeys.”

The Cruelty Free International Save Our Monkeys campaign is dedicated to ending the cruel exploitation of the monkeys of Mauritius. To help them stop the suffering, please sign their petition.

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