Victims of Experimentation - A new investigation by Animal Equality on the Noveprim macaque breeding centre in Camarles, Spain

Sign now to stop the trade
in primates for testing

Josep Maria Pelegrí (Counsellor of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Environment), Air France and Aeronova.

Animal Equality asks that you please sign this petition demanding that the Camarles primate breeding and supply farm is closed down. By signing the petition, you also request that Air France and Aeronova cease transporting primates for the purpose of research

The investigation carried out by the international NGO, Animal Equality, has brought to light some shocking images of monkeys (long-tailed macaques) held captive in the primate breeding and supply farm, Camarles, in Tarragona, Spain.

I wish to express my strong opposition to this facility, in which hundreds of macaques are incarcerated. Many of these animals have been torn from the jungles of Mauritius, and separated from their families and social groups. At Camarles they are housed in barren, concrete pens, before being transported overseas to research laboratories - where they will experience pain, suffering, and often death.
The construction of this farm took place in 2002 and it lay on the outskirts of Camarles, hidden away from civilisation. Many local people in the area originally expressed concern about the facility, and requested for it to be closed down, including the Town Hall.
The centre, then under the ownership of the Centre for Primatological Research (Centre de Recherches Primtologiques), was nethertheless able to obtain a licence in the midst of controversy, just days before implementation of the Catalan Animal Protection Law - which expressly prohibits construction of this type of facility.
The recent prohibition in Spain of research involving Great Apes reminds us that we have a responsibility towards other animals – and this extends also to macaques, and other animals traded and exploited for research.
I urge you to take the necessary administrative and legal steps to close the Camarles centre down, bearing in mind the effect that the existence of such a facility has on the reputation of Spain.

At the same time, I appeal to the airlines, Air France and Aeronova, to finally cease transporting primates destined for research, just as many other airlines have.




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His leg was tattooed upon arrival. He had been captured in the jungles of Mauritius whilst foraging for food. It was difficult to find food in the winter time and trappers, aware of this fact, prepared a trap to capture him and other members of his group. For this monkey, the nightmare had only just begun…

After being trapped, he was held captive on a farm owned by the company, Noveprim, on Mauritus. He stayed there for several months along with other monkeys who, like him, had been separated from their families.

One day he was put into a wooden box in the cargo hold of a passenger plane. He embarked on a gruelling 12 hour journey around 9,000 km to the largest monkey testing farm in Europe – Camarles, in Tarragona, Spain. Camarles is managed by Noveprim Europe Ltd., and the Camarney Company located in Spain.

After a few months on the Camarles farm, he was bought by Navarre University in Spain, along with four other monkeys who had been sent to Spain from Mauritius. Researchers injected him with a neurotoxin which resulted in irreversible brain damage - causing him to suffer tremors, balance and coordination problems for months afterwards. He was confined in a cold, metal cage for an entire year. He was then forced to undergo surgery to further damage his brain, and observe its effects. He was killed six weeks after this final procedures. Other monkeys on Camarles are sent to Covance and Huntingdon Life Sciences laboratories, where they are forced to ingest pesticides, cleaning products and other toxic substances.

Help us to stop trade in primates for testing.

* Lesion of the Centromedian Thalamic Nucleus in MPTP-Treated Monkeys.


Macaco enfermo

«The macaque in the photos had severely inflamed skin with associated hair loss over its head and face, both arms, back and belly – in short, much of its body. The inflammation was very obvious, and must have caused this unfortunate animal terrible discomfort. The hair loss over much of the body may well have been caused by self-trauma, in response to this severe discomfort, as the monkey chewed out its own fur, or rubbed its body on its cage bars, in a desperate attempt to relieve itself. Severe thickening of the skin indicated that the monkey had been in this condition long enough for extreme skin changes to occur in response to these stimuli, which is to say, a very long time. Possible causes of such a severe skin reaction include infestation with parasitic mites, reactions to drugs, and allergic reactions to food compounds or other environmental agents.

It was also disturbing to see the conditions in which these primates were housed. These highly intelligent, inquisitive animals have evolved over millennia within complex rainforest environments that are rich in diversity, and they naturally range over large areas. Instead, these primates were housed in confined enclosures comprising little other than concrete and metal structures. In what was probably a desperate attempt to relieve their boredom, these monkeys had chewed and destroyed – and quite probably swallowed – the majority of a plastic bucket. They were filmed continuing to chew on its remains, as well as on the metal bars of their cage. Confining primates in such relatively confined and barren surroundings for any prolonged period of time is undeniably cruel.»

— Andrew Knight BSc., BVMS, CertAW, DipECAWBM (WSEL), PhD, MRCVS, FOCAE. European Veterinary Specialist in Welfare Science, Ethics & Law Fellow, Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.

«This animal, with potential nutritional deficiencies and a weakened immune system, stressed as a result of being kept in captivity, is suffering from alopecia and severe dermatitis probably due to a mange infection or some form of herpes virus which hasn’t been treated.»

— María González Sola. Veterinarian.

«BUAV investigations in Mauritius have revealed the shocking cruelty and suffering that is inflicted on primates for the international research industry. Monkeys are highly social and intelligent animals with strong family ties and their capture from the wild and forced captivity in Mauritius is morally unacceptable. Denied the lush foliage of their jungle homes, they are imprisoned in their thousands in concrete pens on farms to produce offspring who are exported to laboratories or breeding farms in the USA and Europe, in particular Spain, the UK and France. These monkeys are transported by Air France, one of the few remaining international carriers that continues to transport primates. One recent shipment uncovered by the BUAV involved over 100 young monkeys who were flown by Air France to the Camarles breeding facility in Spain.»

— Sarah Kite, Director of Special Projects, BUAV.


monkeys captured every year
monkeys in the Camarles centre
monkeys were victims
of testing in 2011 in the UK*
hours transport time
from Mauritius to the US
monkeys used in toxicology

*Home Office - Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, Great Britain 2011 (note: reference taken from last paragraph on Page 10)

Each year, between 1,500 and 2,000 macaques arrive at the centre from the island of Mauritius[1]. On the island, wild monkeys are captured in baited forest cage traps and held in their thousands on mass breeding farms. Here they are confined in concrete enclosures, without vegetation or comforts. Their offspring are transported by the cargo company, Aeronova , and major international airline, Air France. In the cargo holds of passenger planes, the animals are confined in small wooden crates. The journey from Mauritius to Spain takes around 12 hours, and covers more than 10,000 kilometres. Once these highly intelligent, inquisitive animals have endured the transport and confinement in the concrete and barren enclosures of the Camarles centre, they are then sent onwards to their fate in the laboratory. Many of the monkeys are sent to laboratories belonging to the notorious Contract Research Organisation (CRO), Covance - a company that has come under the spotlight more than once - in Münster, Germany[2], and in Virginia, USA[3] - for carrying out cruel animal experimentation due to infiltration by undercover investigators.

In 2010, 354 macaques from the Camarles centre were subjected to experimentation within Spanish laboratories. The 'Report on the Statistics of Animals used for Experimentation and other Scientific Purposes', published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment, states that 80% of monkeys were used in chronic or sub-chronic toxicology trials where the monkeys were injected with, or forced to ingest, toxic substances such as pesticides and herbicides[4].

With the findings of this investigation, Animal Equality aims to reveal of life for monkeys used be the research industry – a reality that is concealed by the industry itself.

Animal Equality is launching a global petition to close the Camarles centre, and will also be demanding that Air France and Aeronova - two companies responsible for transporting these animals to their fate - will end their involvement in this brutal trade.

Animal  Equality thus joins the concerted international campaign against these companies.

[1] Data Base of the Agreement on International Commerce in Threatened Species of Wild Animals and Plants, consulted 9th February 2013.

[2] Investigation into Covance, Münster (Germany), carried out by BUAV:

[3] Investigation into Covance, Vienna, Virginia (USA), carried out by PETA:

[4] Report on the Statistics of animals used for experimentation and other scientific purposes, 2010, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment.

162 Images


If you require further information from Animal Equality regarding this, or any other issue, please contact our Spokesperson:

Laura Gough
Phone number: +44 07538 431754
Email address: