LONDON, March 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- An Open Letter to UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, has been signed by a host of politicians, scientists, academics, wildlife experts and celebrities. The letter, which calls on the UK Government to dissociate itself from the cruel trade in wild-caught primates for research, is today published in the Times and Guardian newspapers.
Support for the BUAV campaign comes from world famous primatologist, Dr Jane Goodall, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, actress and wildlife campaigner Virginia McKenna, environmentalist Jonathon Porritt, conservationist Ian Redmond, author Richard Adams, TV wildlife presenters Simon King, Bill Oddie, Michaela Strachan and Mark Carwardine along with celebrities such as Dr Brian May, Ricky Gervais, Jenny Seagrove and Toyah Wilcox. Other individuals to sign up include barrister Michael Mansfield, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and leading academics and scientists such as Professor Roger Crisp, Professor William McGrew, Revd Professor Andrew Linzey, Professor Stephen Harris, Professor Michael Balls, Professor Vernon Reynolds, and Professor Jonathan Wolff. Politicians include David Blunkett MP, Vernon Coaker MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Zac Goldsmith MP, Chris Davies MEP, Jillian Evans MEP, Nigel Dodds MP and Charles Kennedy MP.
The source of primates used in research raises important welfare concerns. Many primates used in UK laboratories are imported from countries such as Mauritius, and despite a UK ban on the use of wild-caught primates in research since 1997, there is no such ban on their offspring or those from farms which trap wild primates for breeding purposes. The capture of primates from the wild inflicts great suffering which has been recognised by a number of organisations and official bodies, including the UK government's own advisory committee, the Animal Procedures Committee.
Over 100 MPs have also signed an Early Day Motion (EDM 957) calling on the Government to end the UK's involvement in the wild-caught primate trade.
BUAV's Chief Executive, Michelle Thew states: "The BUAV is delighted to receive such widespread support. By allowing the importation of monkeys born to wild-caught parents, the UK is fuelling a cruel and unnecessary trade. We call on the Prime Minister to take action to ban the import of these primates and stop perpetuating this appalling cruelty."
For further information: email@example.com; +44(0)7850-510-955 or +44-(0)207-619-6978. Letter & signatures can be viewed at: http://www.buav.org/our-campaigns/primate-campaign/uk-primate-trade-campaign/