Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

International Primate Day 2019 – Letter to MPs

Posted: 30 August 2019. Updated: 30 August 2019


For International Primate Day on 1 September, Animal Defenders International (ADI) is calling on the UK government to explain the huge increase in the number of monkeys born to wild-caught parents and commit to a phase-out of primate use. Find out more here.

Using the template letter below, please ask your MP to do so too. You can get their details and contact them here.

Support our campaign to save the primates.


I am horrified to learn from Animal Defenders international that 246 offspring of wild-caught monkeys were imported to Britain for use in research last year.

Known as “F1” primates these individuals accounted for around 10% of all primate use.

With an EU-wide ban on the use of F1 primates taking effect November 2022 such a huge increase in their use, from just one individual monkey in 2017 and no such primates used during 2014-2016, is truly shocking to see.

In addition to these 246 animals, a further 2,360 long-tailed macaques were imported into Britain last year – a total of 2,064 from Mauritius and 542 from Vietnam. ADI has conducted investigations in both countries. In Mauritius they filmed baby monkeys being torn from their screaming mothers to be tattooed, pregnant monkeys manhandled and pinned down, and monkeys swung by their tails. In Vietnam, monkeys were documented living in deplorable conditions, with some confined to small rusting cages which were in a state of collapse.

More than 10 years ago, the European Parliament passed Written Declaration 40/2007, calling for a timetable to replace the use of primates within the EU but a strategy on this has still to be published. Instead of leading on this important issue the Home Office has indicated to ADI that it has “no plans to phase out the use of primates”. This is out of step with public opinion, animal welfare concerns, and science.

As your constituent, I ask that you raise this matter with them and in parliament.

To Britain’s shame, it is one of Europe’s largest primate users, with 2,472 individuals used for research last year, an increase of 12%. Most primates (2,148) were used for regulatory safety testing of substances. Typically enduring force-feeding or injections of substances and full body immobilisation in restraint chairs during experiments, such tests have been shown to produce misleading results due to species differences.

Replacing primates with more sophisticated human-based techniques provides results which are more relevant to people.

I hope I can count on your support for a phase out of primate use and that you will also sign Early Day Motion 2228 Developing Innovative Science – Better for Animals.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

© Animal Defenders International 2020