More than 100 monkeys that were being used for biomedical research at a scientific center in southwestern Colombia were rescued on suspicion of mistreatment of the animals, the Colombian Public Prosecutor’s Office revealed on Friday.
The country’s justice system has opened an investigation to determine whether there is illegal conduct at the scientific center in the department of Valle del Cauca, which could include crimes against life, the physical and emotional integrity of animals, the environment and natural resources, as well as the public administration, said this entity in a statement.
Environmental authorities, units of the National Police and the National Army participated in the rescue operation, which, together with the Public Ministry, recovered the 108 monkeys that are now under the responsibility of the regional authority of Valle del Cauca, to be evaluated by biologists and veterinarians.
“The conclusions of the analyzes will make it possible to clarify the state of health of the animals and the alleged behavioral changes”, stressed the Public Ministry, indicating that these results will be “relevant for the ongoing investigations”.
A piece denounces the lack of documentation and veterinary records and adds that 21 monkeys disappeared from the scientific facilities, one calf died and another primate was rescued without an eye.
The Colombian justice also added that the investigation established that “the animals were transferred from La Mojana Sucreña, in the northwest of the country, to the headquarters of the scientific center in the rural area of Cali”.
As part of the inspections carried out by the Public Ministry, “the methods and routes used to transport the primates are being verified, as well as the state and condition in which they remain and are treated in the laboratories”.