Harvesting of wild primates for use in biomedical research
WHEREAS the trade in live primates is a major threat to primate conservation.
WHEREAS the use of non-human primates in biomedical pre-clinical testing appears to be increasing despite promotion of the three Rs (replace, reduce, refine) and development of new methods for research that do not require live subjects.
WHEREAS in the last decade, and especially since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, several primatologists have noted a rise in the capture of wild primates for pre-clinical testing and countries have begun reinstating wild harvest quotas to meet a rising demand. Breeding centres exporting captive bred primates may launder wild-caught as captive bred and regularly harvest wild primates for upkeep.
WHEREAS legal harvest and a high demand encourages and provides cover for illegal trade, furthermore adding to the detrimental impact on wild populations.
The International Primatological Society therefore RECOMMENDS:
- THAT biomedical research facilities end their use of wild-caught primates, including those for use for biological sample collection (blood, tissue, etc.), when this requires the extended or permanent removal of individuals from their populations.
- THAT biomedical research facilities carefully review how the primates they acquire and use have been sourced.
- THAT editors of scientific journals refuse to publish biomedical research that is conducted on primates sourced from wild populations, or that may harm wild populations in any way.
- THAT biomedical research facilities and the advising authorities collaborate in using and promoting alternative research strategies that do not involve capture of wild non-human primates, and thus engage as active players in primate conservation
The policy statement was developed by the Primate Specialist Group Special Section on Human-Primate Interactions, including: Brooke Aldrich, Malene Friis Hansen, Lisa Jones-Engel, Angela M. Maldonado, Karthi Martelli, Russell A. Mittermeier, Sam Shanee, and Siân Waters. It has been endorsed by the IPS Council.