Primates: Imports

Home Department written question – answered on 20th January 2014.

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Photo of Mike Hancock Mike Hancock Independent, Portsmouth South

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many non-human primates by (a) species and (b) country of origin were imported into the UK for the purposes of scientific research in each month of (i) 2012 and (ii) 2013; and how many such non-human primates in each category were (A) wild-caught, (B) F1 generation and (C) captive-bred. [Official Report, 29 January 2014, Vol. 574, c. 3-6MC.]

Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker The Minister of State, Home Department

During 2012, a total of 1,367 non-human primates were imported into the UK for use in regulated procedures. This number comprised 38 rhesus macaques bred in China and 1,329 cynomolgus macaques bred in China, Vietnam and Mauritius. All 1,367 animals were captive-bred including 676 which were F1 generation (the offspring, bred in captivity, of at least one wild-caught parent). No wild-caught animals were imported from any source. These figures, by month, are summarised in the following table.

Since 1 January 2013, when the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (the Act) was amended to transpose European Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, there has been no requirement to notify the Home Office of the acquisition from overseas breeding centres of non-human primates for use in regulated procedures. Hence we do not hold any information relating to the numbers of such imports for 2013.

Nevertheless, the Act requires that non-human primates used in procedures must have been bred for that purpose unless an exemption has been granted to use animals taken from the wild. No such exemption was granted during 2013 and therefore all those imported must have been captive bred for use in procedures.

Number of non-human primates imported into the UK for use in regulated procedures by species, country of origin, month of year and captive-bred status
Species Country of origin No. of animals Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total
Rhesus macaque China Wild-caught 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    F1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Total Captive-bred 42 0 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 30 0 80
                               
Cynomolgus macaque China Wild-caught 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    F1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Total Captive-bred 0 0 0 0 0 43 26 0 0 0 0 0 69
                               
  Mauritius Wild-caught 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    F1 135 0 58 39 82 38 0 145 83 52 87 92 811
    Total Captive-bred 148 0 90 60 90 38 0 185 90 52 100 100 953
                               
  Vietnam Wild-caught 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    F1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Total Captive-bred 0 0 80 0 0 47 80 88 80 0 80 0 455

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