Disturbing footage has gone viral on social media this week, which shows a baby monkey shaking with fear after being taken from his parents.
The video was first shared by the animal rights activist group Animal Defenders International on Facebook and on the organisation's official YouTube channel. The footage was allegedly recorded at a facility in the Netherlands, where the infant primate was being tested on for scientific purposes.
The video was captioned: "Monkeys at the Biomedical Primate Research Centre in the Netherlands. Caught on camera by ADI at Europe’s largest primate facility: animals scared and chased into crush cages; sedated but still conscious monkeys twitching and wincing as they are tattooed and tested."
The caption continued: "Animals with painful injuries from fighting and anal prolapses, the stress of their unnatural environment and the procedures they are subjected to taking their toll; workers showing little respect for the helpless monkeys ... Their suffering, and that of tens of thousands of primates bred for and used in research worldwide will only stop when the experiments stop."
September 1 is International Primate Day, and now the organisation is campaigning to prevent further cruel experimentation on animals. According to the group's latest press release, 246 offspring of wild-caught monkeys have been tested on in British labs last year, and worries about Brexit mean that many activists are concerned that a loosening of EU restrictions will lead to more animal testing in the UK in future.Warning: some viewers may find the following footage distressing:
According to ADI, primates in the UK and US are used for regulatory safety testing of substances. The animals are typically subjected to force-feeding, injections of experimental compounds, and confinement, all of which can have life-threatening side effects.
Commenting on the crisis in animal testing, ADI chief Jan Creamer stated: "The public will be horrified to learn that not only is Britain still a major primate user, but it allows researchers to use monkeys whose parents have been taken from the wild and used as breeding machines too. The UK effectively encourages dealers in Vietnam and Mauritius to stock their factory farms by trapping wild monkeys."
For more information on how to help these animals, please visit the official website of Animal Defenders International.