Israel's Mazor breeding farm said this week it will accept a High Court of Justice ruling which sanctioned the sale of 40 Maquaq monkeys bred in captivity for experiments in the Unites States, but banned the export of 50 monkeys born in the wild.
Animal rights groups had petitioned the court to demand a complete ban on the export of 90 monkeys from the Mazor monkey-breeding farm to SNBL laboratories.
Last week the court offered a compromise that would ban the sale of 50 older monkeys, but allow the export of 40 monkeys born in captivity on June 10.
During the hearings Mazor representatives said the farm had signed a contract with the US lab after receiving authorization from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority to export monkeys that were born in the wild.
Rights group Let the Animals Live said, "The fact that the Mazor farm will not be able to export monkeys constitutes a major victory. We plan to continue filing petitions until the export of all monkeys is banned."
Mazor farm (Photo: Dr. Moshe Bushmitz)
A Mazor farm representative said the court "focused on the current shipment, but did not cast doubt on the necessity of medical research."
The Mazor farm recently submitted documents from US authorities which clarify the purpose of the planned experiments, as per the court's request.
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein supported the petitioners' position. In a memo submitted to the court he said 70 of the 90 monkeys had been captured in the wild and not born in captivity, making it illegal to export them.
The AG further said there was no proof that the research project in which the monkeys would be used could save lives or prevent suffering, which is a condition for the export of animals from Israel for testing.