Nepal Government Stops Rhesus Monkey Exports
Nepal’s Supreme Court has stopped the export of rhesus monkeys for research. The move follows a petition filed by PCRM and other groups that held that exporting primates to the United States is a violation of the Animal Welfare Act.
Nepal’s Natural Resource and Management Committee and breeders were asked to explain their position in continuing this practice, but the committee ultimately determined that Nepal could not legally export the monkeys.
The petition included a letter from PCRM director of research policy Hope Ferdowsian, M.D., M.P.H., explaining the scientific and ethical concerns involved in exporting nonhuman primates for research purposes.
Dr. Ferdowsian explained that, despite more than 25 years of HIV research on nonhuman primates, there is no human vaccine for HIV or AIDS. Monkey exports also raise serious public health concerns. According to a 1992 investigation, up to 75 percent of nonhuman primates die at holding centers, often by diseases that spread easily in these facilities.
The committee noted that exporting wildlife raises serious environmental issues and decided that in the future, wildlife cannot be exported from Nepal without due legal process.