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:

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.