The Mary T. and
Frank L. Hoffman
Letters and Responses
To: The Honorable Samdech Hun Sen and Cambodian Government Officials:
I am extremely concerned about Cambodia's inhumane traffic in primates for animal research. I urge the government to enact stronger laws to save your indigenous populations of monkeys.
Trapping, breeding and export of long-tailed macaques ought to be illegal. Investigative findings from British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) show babies forcibly separated from nursing mothers. Monkeys are even captured within a Cambodian nature reserve.
Hunters pound on tree trunks with oars to frighten wild monkeys and wrangle them into nets.
The animals, caught on film either screaming or frozen in terror, are
wrenched by their tails and crammed into bags. They're stowed in boats until sold to a dealer or monkey farm.
Macaques are perceptive creatures with complex behavioral and psychological instincts. Yet those documented on film in Cambodia have no stimulation or enrichment.
They represent a failure to comply with international standards for animal welfare.
Rather than sacrifice wildlife, please advocate animal-free research that is relevant to humans.
Primate experiments, in particular, delay medical progress.
For example, researchers recognize primates do not contract the
human strain of AIDS or develop its clinical symptoms. Of 85 HIV/AIDS vaccines tested in animals, every single one failed in 197 human trials.
The National Cancer Institute now analyzes treatments for cancer and HIV/AIDS, and tests for drug toxicities, using human cell and tissue panels.
With sophisticated alternatives available, there is no reason to subject
monkeys to torture and death.
The long-tailed macaque is a protected species, categorized as Appendix II in the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Please do not permit the desecration of Cambodia's treasured wildlife.
Ana Maria Obrist
Letter in response to All-Creatures Action Alert.
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