I wanted to give a big high five to the activists in Florida who stopped a shipment of green/vervet monkeys from leaving St Kitts for a trip to a U.S. research lab. Yay to British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), who got a tip about the delivery, and to the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida for shaming IBC Airlines into not only canceling the shipment, but joining other airlines into never transporting primates for research again (article). That's right, IBC will join the ranks of other airlines who have agreed not to take part in this crappy practice. United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Northwest Airlines, Qantas Airways, South African Airways, Delta Airlines and China Airlines we solute you. The rest of you suck.
I am going to say it again. I realize the monkeys are a problem here and something needs to be done. That said, I doubt shipping off a few here and there is going to put a dent in the problem, so why send them off for torture? I still think more research needs to be done a birth control options. If $ is an issue (the people who catch them here make A LOT of $), then how about putting them into a sanctuary so tourists can visit them? And for those of you insist that it's necessary for human health care, I send you to a previous blog entry on the subject. Who can forget when Michael had a touching moment when he released a bunch of caged monkeys from a cage located on privately-owned property?
Apparently, St. Kitts had stopped the export of monkeys for this purpose for a while, but then debated it again in June 2010 (article). I'm not aware of a decision being made, but obviously it has, and not in favor of the primates. Why does everything always have to be done the "sneaky" way? Hey - Dr. Timothy Harris - did you think no one would find out? STOP! The "activists" are still watching and will implore you to stop the exports again. Stop the shipments because you're a compassionate human and not just because you're being pressured to do the right thing by other compassionate human beings. Jeez.
The two companies that trap the monkeys on this island are St Kitts Primate Resources International and St Kitts Biomedical Research Foundation. Oddly (apply sarcasm here), I couldn't find either of these NGOs online. You guys suck. The monkeys were being shipped to Three Springs Scientific, a Pennsylvania-based company. Hmm, they're not online either. A business profile says they employ two people. Really? Well, they've been in business for 21 years, so it sure doesn't take a whole lot of people to do something sucky.
Luckily, it doesn't take a whole lot of people to do good things either. :) Wonder if we could adopt all those monkeys who just dodged this bullet...You know, before someone like American Airlines steps in to do the dirty work. Sigh.