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article imageRicky Gervais backs the 'Stop the Baby Trade' campaign Special

By Jane Fazackarley     Sep 23, 2010 in Lifestyle
The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) have launched a campaign which is being backed by actor and comedian Ricky Gervais. The campaign aims to put a stop to the international trade in monkeys which are then used for research.
According to the the BUAV, thousands of wild monkeys are taken from their families every year. The monkeys are shipped overseas for research purposes or kept prisoner in farms for breeding, the babies will then be transported on airlines as cargo, adding to their suffering
Some of the wild monkeys are as young as six months when they are taken, by force, from their mothers. If they were left to live in their own environment then the primates would naturally stay with their families for years.
Ricky Gervais is a said to have been shocked by the treatment of the wild monkeys. He said:
"Imprisoning monkeys and snatching their babies is a disgusting way to treat other primates."
"Monkeys are highly intelligent beings who feel pain and distress, just like us."
According to information fro the BUAV the United States and the United Kingdom are 'two of the key importers of monkeys for research'. A recent investigation by the BUAV highlighted the cruelty inflicted on them during trapping and factory farming.
A secret filming by the BUAV has recently been released. Filmed in Mauritius, it showed thousands of monkeys, a lot of them taken from their natural habitat, ready to be exported. Part of the film showed one of those responsible for the trapping tormenting and abusing one of the monkeys.
Ricky Gervais made this appeal:
"Please support the BUAV to end this shameful cruelty. We must Stop The Baby Trade."
I asked Fleur Dawes, Media Officer for the BUAV, how do people get involved in the campaign?
"Stop the Baby Trade is the latest campaign call by the BUAV in our global effort to end the international trade in primates for research. This campaign slogan poignantly illustrates one of the horrors of the primate trade – the forced early separation of a mother from her infant. We are campaigning against a ruthless industry that imprisons our closet living relatives in factory farms to produce offspring for a life of misery, suffering and ultimately death. People can visit our website to find out how they can help, either by donating to our work or by supporting our most recent campaign to stop the trade in primates on Mauritius by writing letters and sending emails to governments and airlines. "
Are you asking the government to play a part in stopping this trade?
"We are calling on the government to ban the import of primates into the UK. The UK currently imports primates from a number of countries including Mauritius, Vietnam and Cambodia. "
How many primates are estimated to be used in this trade?
"Every year tens of thousands of primates are shipped around the world to laboratories. They are flown as cargo in passenger airlines. We estimate that around 100,000 monkeys are used in research world wide every year."
How did Ricky Gervais get involved in the campaign?
"Ricky is an important BUAV supporter of BUAV's campaigns having supported us previously. Recently he supported our the ugly truth about botox campaign to stop producers performing cruel botox tests on mice."
You can find out more about the work of the BUAV and this campaign at www.stopthebabytrade.org.
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