Mauritius Steps Backward: The Country’s First Animal Welfare Bill Legalizes Vivisection

Posted on by Ashley Fruno

monkey in cageThe fact that the European Union, India, and Israel have banned animal testing for cosmetics gives us hope that dripping chemicals into rabbits’ eyes and force-feeding them to rats will soon be relegated to the annals of history.

But some countries have taken a different direction: The minister of agriculture of Mauritius, Satya Veyash Faugoo, presented the government with the proposal for the first Animal Welfare Bill for the island in June this year. Unfortunately, the bill’s title and content don’t match. The proposed bill permits the legalization of animal experiments.

The 37-page proposal includes only four short paragraphs about animal experimentation, which don’t specify who will be responsible for monitoring such projects, the requirements for being granted permission for an experiment, the housing conditions of the animals who will be used, and the necessary qualifications of the staff.

The reasons for this proposal are not hard to figure out: The African island is the second-biggest exporter of apes bred or caught in the wild for laboratories worldwide, following China. The fact that nearly all major airlines refuse to transport animals to be used in experimentation makes it more difficult for people involved in this business in Mauritius to make overseas sales.

Many pharmaceutical companies have established laboratories on the island, including Noveprim. Was this proposed law developed to make Mauritius more attractive as a business location and to extend its economic success? It seems possible.

An undercover investigation of Noveprim’s stud farm in Mauritius by the animal rights group BUAV shows disturbing treatment of apes. Monkeys are caught in the jungle and trapped in small metal cages, from which they frantically try to escape while their families look on helplessly.

Help us end the suffering of all animals used in laboratory experiments: Pledge to go 100 percent cruelty-free, and take a few minutes to write to the embassy of Mauritius to your country asking it to scrap this bogus proposed law. Let’s take real steps toward the welfare of animals.

Posted by Jason Baker