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News of a shocking discovery - on our own doorstep

Urgent message from the BUAV:
News of a shocking discovery - right here on our own doorstep.
(For fuller details, see )
(This transcription is abridged for email by the transcriber)

"Imagine the scene. We are on a deserted road in the Spanish countryside. The intense heat beats down on the olive groves; insect sounds fill the hot air. Any traveller might take a photograph of this tranquil scene.

But we are not on our holidays. We are on a mission.

We step off the road and walk through the olive groves until our path is blocked by, of all things, an electrified fence. We can hear animals crying out. Beyond the fence, a building site, and next to the building site row upon row of barren, concrete cages baking in the sun. Unbelievably, we can see monkeys, hundreds of macaque monkeys. They are crying out because they are terrified. Men wearing masks over their faces have entered one of the cages and are pursuing them, catching them roughly by the tails.

This is not a nightmare. This is what our investigators actually witnessed and photographed not far from Barcelona, Spain, only weeks ago.

Hidden away among the olive groves is what they call a "primate breeding and supply facility". A few years ago, the BUAV campaigned to stop its construction starting. I even met with the town's mayor to argue our case. Subsequently, the local authorities banned any further developments like this in the region, but we couldn't stop this one. Three years ago it all went quiet, some people said it had closed down, but the BUAV continued to watch. Now, our monitoring has uncovered massive development and expansion. If the animal experimentation industry has its way, this is where thousands of primates will be shipped to from their homes in Mauritius. Here they will wait out a miserable existence until they are shipped again to a laboratory somewhere in Europe where they will be subjected to who knows what kind of abuse and lingering death.

.... this supply centre is an inherently cruel and inappropriate place for macaques. We have shown pictures to a professor of veterinary medicine. He was appalled to see only concrete and metal as the monkeys` habitat.

But we shouldn't be surprised. The ownership of this centre can be traced back to Covance, the German contract animal testing company, disgraced in 2004 following another BUAV undercover investigation that discovered primates being horribly abused in their laboratories.

.... Ever since our investigations in the 1990s led to the UK ban on wild-caught primate experiments, our work and determination has pushed back the research industry. The Research Defence Society says that restrictions in Europe would "pretty much wipe out primate research because we do not have enough capacity." So, at a time when there is growing acceptance that primates, our closest relatives, should be experimented on less, it is outrageous that the animal experimentation industry is trying to counter restrictions by developing this facility on our own doorstep. This centre in Spain could provide an almost unlimited supply of primates for European laboratories.

This new evidence strengthens our case to influence the revision of a key European law on animal experimentation (Directive 86/609) and further restrict the use of primates. We need .... to bring this shocking evidence to the attention of politicians and legislators. We also need more money to continue monitoring this centre and other places.

There are almost 1,000 monkeys caged and hidden away among these olive groves. The owners are building cages for at least 3,000. The animal experimentation industry thinks their nasty secret is well concealed and that people don't care.

Michelle Thew, BUAV.

Abridged for email transcription by John Oswald.


Make yourself a vow to not let a day pass until this centre of ignominy is shut down! Remember that inactivity is the worst crime in the face of injustice, unless physical or mental infirmity necessitate it. Otherwise, inactivity is complicity, even if you say you are appalled. But any activity, no matter how small, is liberating. DO NOT CEASE to notify friends and organisations every day of this atrocity until it is shut down. We owe this not only to the macaques but to the thousands of humans who die each year as a result of vivisection hindering real medical progress.

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