This week, the BUAV Save our Monkeys campaign has launched a tourism awareness campaign addressing the plight of the long-tailed macaque on the paradise island of Mauritius.
Ethical tourism is becoming more important to holidaymakers and the tourist industry and can be a key concern for travellers when choosing a holiday location. The campaigning organisation has released an eye-catching visual with the byline ‘Mauritius – it’s no holiday for the monkeys’ to draw attention to the country’s leading role in supplying monkeys to the global research industry. It has also written to major travel and tour operators to draw attention to the issue and request they make representation to the Mauritius government, as well as the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA).
CEO of the BUAV, Michelle Thew, said: “Ethical tourism is high on the public’s consciousness and we believe that the cruel trade in monkeys for research can only tarnish the international reputation of Mauritius as a holiday paradise. We are, therefore, requesting that travel operators raise their concerns by contacting the Mauritian government, as well as the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA). “
Over the years, thousands of long-tailed macaques have been trapped in the wild in Mauritius and confined in unnatural conditions in large breeding facilities across the country. Their offspring are exported as cargo on airlines primarily to laboratories in the USA and European Union, including the UK, Spain, France and Germany. The most recent figures available show that in 2013, over 6,000 monkeys were exported overseas.
BUAV field investigations have revealed the extent of the suffering caused in the trapping and breeding of monkeys on the island and has led to concern expressed from within Mauritius and around the world by scientists, wildlife experts, politicians, religious and socio-cultural groups, animal welfare organisations as well as members of the public, including tourists.