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Scientific coalition addresses research monkey challenges

Updated: Aug 21, 2023

A coalition of 40 organisations, including EARA, has recently presented a set of recommendations to address the global supply shortage of long-tailed macaques for biomedical research, as well as to protect the species in the wild. In the statement by members of the scientific, veterinary and conservation communities, which was lead by Americans for Medical Progress (AMP), the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) and the US Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) – highlighted the following recommendations to protect the long-tailed macaque and ensure continued medical progress were highlighted:

  • Expand the capacity for breeding monkeys for research in the US;

  • Initiate comprehensive long-tailed macaque population studies in countries where wild populations exist (such as southeast Asia and Mauritius);

  • Increase and expand international partnerships to initiate animal protection or mitigation strategies that are region-specific;

  • Increase collaboration between the biomedical research community and international authorities that monitor and regulate animal use.

Recent events have resulted in not only a critical shortage of these monkeys, for example due to a halt of exports from China in 2020, but also questions about their status in the wild.

A reassessment of the species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) last year claimed that the long-tailed macaque was endangered – however this has been contested by the National Association for Biomedical Research, USA, due to a lack of scientific evidence, as well as by several researchers (see this article in Science).

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