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    AG mulls future of Mazor primate breeding farm
    Attorney General to decide over limitation of trade agreements concerning primate breeding for medical purposes only. Enviornmental minister calls policy change 'justified'

    Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is due to determine the future of the Mazor Farm, following many years of animal rights activists' protests over the farm's breeding and exporting of primates to Europe for vivisection purposes.

     

    Over the next few days, Weinstein is supposed to decide whether or not he will sign off on a directive given to Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, which will halt all exporting of primates from Israel to Europe, except for medical purposes. 

     

    The Mazor Farm receives the scientific community's support and operates by proxy of the Israel's Nature and National Parks Service, which for many years has refused to annul Israel's trade agreements with other countries.

     

    Arden petitioned Weinstein on Wednesday and asked him to sign off on the directive and bring an end to the long-term conflict over the issue.

     

    "There is no dispute over the fact that a minister (Arden) has the authority and jurisdiction to change or form a policy concerning the protection of wild animals. This authority includes weighing in over trade agreements," said Arden.

     

    According to Arden, a certain percentage of primates imported to Israel for medical and scientific research purposes are transported under "terrible" conditions and the Nature and National Parks Service authority has no way of supervising the situation, nor the purposes of the medical experiments the primates eventually undergo. Therefore, Arden called the change in policy a "justified" one.

     

    Mazor farm, located in Moshav Mazor (situated between Petach Tikva and Ben-Gurion Airport) is a private facility which breeds primates that are either captured in Mauritius, or raised in captivity. The farm then sells the primates to research labs where they undergo scientific and medical experiments in Israel and abroad.

     

    Amir Ben David contributed to this story

     

     

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    Photo: Courtesy of Mazor Farm
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