France at the heart of a secretive and cruel trade Silabe, an establishment within the University of Strasbourg, at the heart of the international trade in monkeys for animal experimentation. SIGN THE PETITION READ MORE

One Voice has seen information according to which more than a thousand long-tailed macaques have been imported year after year and forwarded to our neighbours elsewhere in Europe.

France at the heart of a secretive and cruel trade

For many years France has been, via the ‘Silabe Platform’, a staging post for – and moreover a place for experiments on – thousands of primates from Mauritius and Vietnam en route to laboratories in Germany, the United Kingdom and Italy, such as Accelera, Aptuit, Bayer AG, Covance and Merck, where they  spend the rest of their sad lives subjected to experiments.

It is likely that some of the monkeys also undergo tests in France, after very probably arriving at Roissy in the holds of Air France planes. Silabe has already been at the heart of controversies, revelations, demonstrations and campaigns, in particular by other French associations, which had found themselves up against a brick wall[1].

Silabe used to be run by a private association benefiting from ministerial funds and controlled by the University of Strasbourg. It is now part of the University and takes the form of a national public educational establishment of a scientific, cultural and professional nature.
The primates involved are often very young. Many of those from Mauritius are barely a year and a half old. Small vulnerable babies, weighing about two kilos are sent in ‘batches’, as cargo in transit crates, far from the nurturing and protection of their mothers. The length of the journeys and the conditions of transport are terribly distressing for the infant monkeys : stress, fear etc.
And what is waiting for them? Being restrained on cold tiled laboratory benches, having holes cut or drilled into their skulls, electrodes planted into their brains, or having chemicals and drugs forced into their bodies, poisoning ….
As monkeys are very valuable to researchers, the survivors are sometimes sold to other laboratories for yet more years of experiments. Finally, euthanasia or slaughter awaits them, with no glimpse of another life, no retirement.

A reduction in the number of animals used in research: utopia?

European law stipulates that primates used for scientific purposes should come exclusively from breeding establishments or colonies maintained with no introductions of animals taken from the wild; This applies as from 10 November 2022 for all the members of the EU, including France. It, therefore, strengthens the rules applying to the trade in monkeys. But who is going to monitor it, especially in the countries where the animals are captured and bred for export?

The European regulations also stipulate that fewer animal procedures must be carried out in research in general. But what is likely to happen?

Photos: Cruelty Free International/SOKO-Tierschutz.

The continuing lack of transparency

Moreover Silabe is only one stage in these transfers, among so many others. Year after year the figures for the use of animals in research in France stagnate at an unbelievable level! Looking into the issue there is an obvious lack of transparency.
Another question that needs to be answered : although the trade in primates from Vietnam and Mauritius to Europe is allowed, why is France in general and the Silabe platform in particular a staging post?
We have written to Frédérique Vidal, the Minister of Research, to bring this matter to her attention. We and our partner Action for Primates (United Kingdom) need your support! Please join us in writing a letter to the Embassies of Mauritius and Vietnam to bring an end to the exporting of monkeys to France for pointless experiments. And please sign our petition for total transparency about animals used in experiments, the financing of non-animal alternatives and the systematic and exclusive use of such alternatives where they exist!
[1] Campaigns and demonstrations
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Please join us in writing a letter to the Embassies of Mauritius and Vietnam to bring an end to the exporting of monkeys to France for pointless experiments.

With the model opposite, send an email or a letter to:

Embassy of Vietnam
61 rue de Miromesnil – 75008 PARIS – France

Embassy of Mauritius
127 Rue de Tocqueville – 75017 PARIS – France
Email : or

For transparent research and the replacement of animal experimentation by non-animal alternatives!

More than two million animals suffer and die each year after pointless experiments in French laboratories.

According to the official figures for 2017, more than 30% of the primates experimented on in the European Union were carried out in France. Likewise France is the biggest ‘user’ of cats in Europe and the second biggest ‘user’ of dogs after the United Kingdom.

Moreover, of all the procedures involving severe pain in all animals in the EU, France carries out by far the most: almost a third of them, well ahead of the countries next on the list!

Thousands of monkeys enter France from abroad, some destined for universities, while others are sent on to our European neighbours. In laboratories, mice, rabbits, horses, fish, cats, pigs and so many other animals may undergo test after test throughout their miserable lives , suffering both pain and distress, until they die or are killed.

Officially France is third, after the United Kingdom and Germany, in terms of how many animals are killed. In fact, this figure is an underestimate since, unlike its neighbours, France does not publish all its data.

That must stop: the data on animal experimentation must become transparent! How many times have we had to demand that these figures be published? Moreover, the data must include not only animals used in experiments but also those killed for analysis of their organs, transgenic animals, fœtuses etc. Such information is not currently recorded.

France is the country that carries out the fewest unannounced inspections: 20% compared with a European average of 40%. It is also the member state that causes animals to suffer the most. However the European requirements are clear: the number of animals used in experiments must be reduced, as must their suffering.

Existing alternative methods must be systematically used instead of animal experimentation. And such methods must be developed for other experiments on animals. That requires the investment of public funds!

I the undersigned ask for total transparency on animals used in experiments, investment in non-animal alternatives and the systematic use of such alternatives when they exist!

Sign the petition

For the attention of the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research