The primates raised in Argentina’s last vivisection facility located in the Saavedra neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, which stopped operating in 2021, are still in the center since they have not been transferred to sanctuaries, as animal activists have demanded. These monkeys are of two species, 66 capuchins of the species Cebus apella and 8 macaques of the species Macaca fascicularis, and are still living in small cages with artificial light in the basement of a building of the Center for Medical Education and Clinical Research (Cemic). 

This centre was launched on 10th March 1983, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), as part of the Center for Research in Human and Experimental Reproduction (CIRHE).

Teresa Manzur, now in charge of what remains of the center, told the newspaper La Nación, “The last experimentation work was carried out in 2021. From then on, nothing more was done with them.” When asked about the reason why the transfer has not taken place, Manzur said, “We are organising it, but we are very afraid that they will die from the anesthesia that we would have to apply to them to be transferred. There are some very old monkeys who don’t know anything, everything is going to scare them. In addition, we were delayed by the pandemic and the viruses that began to circulate.”

The Carayá Project is a primate sanctuary in La Cumbre, Córdoba, specialized for more than 30 years in rescuing primates from the pet trade, wildlife trafficking or research centers. Now it has asked for these monkeys to be sent to its sanctuary. 

Alejandra Juárez, director of Proyecto Carayá, said, “Five years ago CEMIC came here with the intention of moving them. I offered them to send them all. However, the move never happened. But last year they consulted Conicet and they presented a formal proposal to transfer all those who could travel… Today there are 32 specimens over 22 years old and they could live to be about 25. We sent a letter informing us that we accepted everyone. The only thing we asked for were the enclosures and food if we needed it… We have the space, the professionals, the capacity and the desire. We are a non-profit organization, and that is why it would be of great help to improve the quality of life of primates if Cemic took charge of the construction of the shelters. And it would be very favourable for the males to come with a vasectomy done and to be able to collaborate with the food for as long as necessary, but this is not a condition to receive them.”

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.