Mazor Farm is a breeding facility in Israel that raises long tailed macaque monkeys for use in experimentation worldwide. Some of the monkeys were caught in the wild and others have been born in captivity. Mazor Farm currently has about 1,500 monkeys.
As with all monkeys used in experiments, infants are separated from their mothers at an early age to allow more pregnancies. The trauma endured by both mother and child is beyond cruel and inhumane. The purpose, of course: increased population correlates into increased profits.
A number of animal advocate organizations have been intent upon closing down Mazor Farm for the past 15 years. They include Behind Closed Doors, led by Ms. Anat Refua; Let the Animals Live and the Israeli Society for the Abolition of Vivisection.
Mazor Farm was planning on transporting 90 macaque monkeys to SNBL (Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories) in Texas for experiments regarding degenerative arthritis. SNBL’s reputation is less than stellar. Hundreds of violations of the Animal Welfare Act were cited in reports by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 2008, a whistleblower reported SNBL had boiled a monkey to death when a cage was put through a high-temperature cage-washing machine with a monkey still in it.
INPA (Israel Nature and Parks Authority) announced January 31 permission for Mazor Farms to transport the 90 monkeys to SNBL. Animal advocate organizations made a concerted effort to prevent this from happening. They gave further documentation to INPA which then delayed authorization to transport. The case ended up in the Israel High Court of Justice. On June 5, the High Court ruled in an attempted compromise that the 40 monkeys born in captivity could be transported but the 50 caught in the wild could not.
In an effort to save the 40 captive-born monkeys, the animal organizations began a campaign to boycott EL-AL Airlines, the airline that was scheduled to transport the Mazor Farm monkeys to SNBL in America. BUAV (British Union Anti Vivisection) and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) joined in the effort to boycott EL-AL Airlines.
Yuval Ron created a Care2 petition to boycott EL-AL airlines with great success! In addition, thousands of people from many countries emailed and used social media to contact EL-AL requesting a ban on transporting animals for experimentation.
EL-AL responded to the demands by publicly announcing they would permanently refrain from flying any monkeys for experimentation. The petition was closed June 19 with more than 5,400 signatures.
When I asked Yuval Ron if El-AL is expected to keep their promise (EL-AL made a similar promise in September, 2010 and reversed itself), I was told “El-Al has a history of breaking their word, so we are keeping an eye on them open wide. That said I personally believe that this time they will be very careful as they have tasted a little bit of the implications. They lost thousands of existing and potential clients per day during the past week.”
The success of EL-AL agreeing to no longer transport monkeys for use in experimentation does not negate the fact that Mazor Farm is still in operation. Follow the fight to close Mazor Farm through the still active and very much alive campaign Shut Down Mazor Farm.
Thanks to our Care2 members for making a difference!
Photo credit: Drriss/flickr