Nepal's Rhesus Breeding Program Draws Opposition

Nepal and the Nepal and the Natural History Society of Nepal recently reached an agreement whereby that country will host a rhesus monkey breeding program designed to supply the United States and other countries with rhesus monkeys for animal research programs. The agreement has drawn the ire of animal rights activists and groups.

The Washington National Primate Center is working closely with the Natural History Society to set up the breeding program. The Washington National Primate Center has helped start similar breeding programs in Indonesia and Russia to supply monkeys to for biomedical research in the United States.

Back in 2002 when this idea first was considered, the International Primate Protection League urged its supporters,

Please send a letter to the officials whose addresses are listed below requesting that Nepal not establish a biomedical breeding and research facility in conjunction with a laboratory funded by the US Government. Postage from the United States to Nepal costs 80 cents per ounce.

Request that Nepal not build a monkey laboratory and that it not export monkeys at a time when there is an increased demand for monkeys to be used in painful and lethal experimentation into biological warfare and other infectious disease agents.

According to the IPPL, almost 19,000 primates were imported into the United States in 2002.

Sources:

Nepal Plans a Monkey Lab: Please Protest. Press Release, International Primate Protection League, November 2002.

Nepal Activists Say No Monkey Exports for Lab Tests. Keshab Poudel, OneWorld, February 2, 2004.

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