The opponents of vivisection have been increasingly condemning the breeding of macaques in Mauritius for the purpose of exportation to countries where they are used as lab rats. Germany has joined in to decry this act publicly as Mauritius is becoming more and more notorious for this controversial practice. The media coverage of this issue by the German TV channel, (video also replicated below) Deutsche Welle, is one step forward in creating awareness of this serious bone of contention.
The reportage depicts the ecologist Vincent Florens at work in the Mauritian native forests. The endeavours of the scientist entail the conservation of the flora and fauna of Mauritius. His aim is to preserve the remaining forests of the country – massive efforts are to be furnished, since the country has known colossal deforestation such that only 2% of the original forested areas remain. Endemic species have been greatly reduced in number because of the invasion by foreign species of both plants and animals. So, in line with this, doing away with these invasive species is one way to restore the forests back to its original state, or at least, to a state in which the forests can be sustained.
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All of this seem very noble in intentions and in deeds. Controversy is stirred into the matter when macaques come into play. The macaques are one of the invasive species, affecting adversely the Mauritian biodiversity. They eat the native plants as well as the broods of endemic birds. This trouble has been tackled by getting rid of the monkeys – the way this is done is what infuriates animal rights activists. The macaques are taken by a company the owner of which goes by the name of Owen Griffiths. They are then bred to be exported to countries where they use the animals for medicinal experimentation – to further the research of Alzheimer’s disease. The proceeds then finance biodiversity conservation.
People are raising their voices concerning what they view as an act of cruelty. Does protecting native and threatened-to-extinction species justify the suffering of another? The macaques are made to bear toxicity levels of chemicals. They suffer in silence. While we watch in silence. The proficiency of the human mind can and must find alternative ways to protect one without harming another.