Queen guitarist Brian May and TV wildlife expert Bill Oddie have joined the BUAV in its call on the UK Government to stop supporting the cruel trade in wild-caught monkeys.

Brian May, Bill Oddie and BUAV
Brian May, Bill Oddie and BUAV

Brian May and Bill Oddie joined a host of MPs, primatologists and other scientists who attended an event at the House of Commons for the BUAV’s Stop the Baby Trade campaign to end the cruel trade in monkeys for research. The event was hosted by Leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas MP, with guest speaker, field biologist and conservationist Ian Redmond OBE.

Brian May and Bill Oddie were shocked to learn about the cruelty and suffering involved in the capture of wild primates. Despite a UK ban on the import of wild-caught primates since 1997, there is not a similar ban on their offspring. Since 2009, over 2,000 monkeys born to wild-caught parents have been imported into the UK. The majority of these came from Mauritius which is the UK’s main supplier of primates.

Dr Brian May CBE said: “The imprisonment and abuse of wild animals must stop. BUAV has uncovered evidence of monkeys ripped from their jungle homes and families, and forced to produce babies who will be shipped to laboratories around the world. The UK plays a major part in allowing this cruel trade to continue by importing monkeys from countries such as Mauritius for British laboratories. On behalf of the Save-Me foundation, I call on the Government to cut all ties with this cruel trade immediately, and fully support the BUAV’s campaign to Stop the Baby Trade.”

“To me this issue is not whether or not animals should ever be used in medical research, it is about the utterly unacceptable and blatantly cruel conditions in which monkeys are trapped, transported and kept. I fully support the BUAV’s campaign to Stop the Baby Trade,” added Bill Oddie.

Caroline Lucas MP has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM 957) calling on the Government to completely disassociate the UK from the cruel trade by banning the use of primates born to wild-caught parents, as well as those from facilities which trap wild primates for breeding purposes. The EDM has to date been signed by 80 MPs.

Other famous supporters of the campaign include comedian Ricky Gervais and celebrity designer Meg Mathews.

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