Primates: Animal Experiments

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 13th July 2021.

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Photo of Henry Smith Henry Smith Conservative, Crawley

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if his Department will end the import of long-tailed macaques for the purposes of scientific research from Mauritius into the UK.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Non-human primates are only used in scientific research where absolutely necessary. Non-human primates play an important role in the public safety testing of novel pharmaceuticals prior to human trials, fulfilling international guidelines and national regulatory requirements. All imports of long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) into the UK are controlled by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), by way of their listing on CITES Appendix II. To meet our obligations under CITES, all applications for import are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and only allowed for scientific research purposes where we are confident the imports will not have a harmful effect on conservation status of the species. The UK Government has no plans under CITES to end the import of long-tailed macaques for scientific research where they are the most appropriate and scientifically justified species.

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