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Will Israel Ban Monkey Exports to U.S.?

Israel’s attorney-general, Yehuda Weinstein, has told the nation’s High Court of Justice that it is illegal for a vivisection breeding farm to export their macaque monkeys to laboratories in the United States.

The Israeli animal protection group Let the Animals Live had filed a petition to overturn a lower court decision allowing the Mazor monkey breeding factory farm to export 90 female macaques to the U.S. for experimentation.

The attorney-general said 70 of the 90 macaques earmarked for export were captured in the wild and that it is therefore illegal to trade them. He also questioned what experimentation the monkeys would be subjected to since Israeli policies only permit the export of animals for medical research when the aim is specifically either to save human lives or reduce human suffering.

Mazor Farm is known as an infamous breeder of monkeys caught in the wild on the African island of Mauritius – a link in the chain of cruelty by which monkeys are stolen from their homes and flown thousands of miles to laboratories and breeding facilities. Babies are separated from their mothers and then raised to breed more monkeys who, because they are “captive bred” can legally be exported to vivisection laboratories.

Many of the monkeys don’t survive the trauma. But, in an irony that is inescapable to Israeli animal protection groups, those who do survive have their chests tattooed with a four digit serial number before they are transported to laboratories, where they are subjected to invasive brain experiments.

As a result, the Nature and Parks Authority has agreed to reexamine Mazor Farm’s request for an export license.