Animal experimentation is increasingly recognised as unreliable and inhumane, with many scientists looking to safer, non-animal alternatives. Experimentation on primates in Australia is not only cruel and unnecessary, it is linked to illegal wild capture and the decline of threatened species.
Looking into the face of a primate, it's hard not to feel a sense of familiarity. Many Australians would assume that these intelligent animals, who share so many similarities with us are protected from cruelty. But sadly, hundreds of primates are still used in research and experimentation in Australia. Not only are there three tax-payer funded primate breeding centres in Australia, our government also permits the import of primates for research — which undercover investigations have revealed may underpin the brutal and illegal practice of capturing infant primates from the wild.
Investigators from the British Union Against Vivisection found that wild-caught pigtail macaques captured on Tinjil Island, in Indonesia, were being misclassified as 'born in captivity'. Tinjil Island is the source of macaque exports to Australia. Since 2009, Australia has imported at least 391 macaques from Indonesia — a species already in danger of being listed as threatened.
The Australian government has refused to take action, saying that Australia relies on officials in Indonesia to verify the accuracy of information on export permits.
Worldwide there's a growing push to protect animals from the suffering caused by life in laboratories. In many countries, primates have been amongst the first to receive greater protection.
Lend your voice to the growing global movement to protect animals from experimentation. Please join us in calling on the Australian Government to ban the importation and use of primates for research.