Joanna Lumley and Chris Packham have joined Cruelty Free International in appealing to The Silver Spoon Company and other UK sugar companies to use their influential position in the global sugar market to help protect the monkeys of Mauritius.

The animal protection organisation’s latest campaign, launched last week, is encouraging UK sugar retailers to raise concerns with the Mauritius Government about the suffering that is inflicted on the country’s monkey population.

Mauritius is one of the world’s largest suppliers of monkeys for experiments, including to the UK. Tens of thousands of monkeys, many of whom were captured from the wild, are held in large-scale facilities across Mauritius. Denied the lush foliage of their jungle homes, these monkeys spend their lives behind bars on concrete while their offspring are exported overseas, in small wooden crates, as cargo on airlines.

Sugar is a major export for Mauritius and an estimated 600,000 tonnes is produced each year, most of which is exported to the EU. The industry is worth approximately $218 million per year to the country.

The Silver Spoon Company is a division of the Associated British Foods (ABF) group. One of its well-known high street brands, Billington’s, imports unrefined sugars from Mauritius which is widely sold in UK supermarkets.

A new video released today by Cruelty Free International is aimed at caring consumers and bakers who are being urged to contact The Silver Spoon Company to help protect the monkeys of Mauritius.

TV and film star Joanna Lumley said: “I am delighted to support Cruelty Free International and their campaign calling on UK sugar companies to help keep Mauritius monkeys in the wild where they belong.”

TV presenter and wildlife expert Chris Packham said: “I’m joining Cruelty Free International in their campaign to end the trade in Mauritius monkeys for experiments. We’re asking UK sugar companies like The Silver Spoon Company to use their influence to send a message to the Mauritius government: the beautiful island of Mauritius should be sweet for monkeys too.”

Cruelty Free International Chief Executive, Michelle Thew stated: “We hope caring consumers and bakers will join us in calling on The Silver Spoon Company to use its influence and raise concerns with the Mauritius Government about the country’s cruel trade in monkeys. Together, we can make life on Mauritius sweeter for the monkeys.”

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