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A farm in Britain owned by the US company that makes Ray-Ban sunglasses is at the centre of a barbaric trade in selling monkeys for medical experiments.
An Observer investigation into Bausch & Lomb's clandestine activities in Britain reveals the company's willingness to sell monkeys to anybody who is prepared to pay. This is despite the company's own claims - and those of the Government - that the vivisection industry is tightly regulated.
A reporter purporting to work for a research foundation in Cyprus approached a British subsidiary of Bausch & Lomb, Shamrock Ltd, asking to buy 20 monkeys to experiment on.
Without any proof of what the foundation did or the methods to be used, Shamrock said in a fax that it could 'certainly supply' them from its main source in Mauritius. The cost would be £1,614 a monkey, plus £161 import charges.
The only problem was finding an airline prepared to take the cargo. Most refuse to do business with Shamrock following pressure from animal rights groups.
Shocking video evidence seven years ago showed brutal treatment of monkeys at Shamrock Farm in Small Doe, near Henfield, West Sussex, where they were kept in horrific conditions. At the time, Bausch & Lomb pledged to quit the business, fearing bad publicity.
But the company continues to import some 2,000 monkeys a year into Britain from Mauritius, the Philippines and China. The animals are packed into tiny crates, often too small for them to stand up in, and put on flights to Europe lasting up to 60 hours.
They are kept in small cages inside portable storage units at Shamrock Farm which offer little natural light.
For up to two months, the monkeys are tested for contagious diseases before being sold to laboratories which use them for live experiments.
Shamrock has in the past been severely criticised by the Home Office after several monkeys were found dead on arrival or had to be destroyed soon afterwards, suffering such illnesses as pneumonia.
It claims it has improved its facilities since by increasing cage sizes and allowing the monkeys an area to socialise. However, animal lovers believe the monkeys are still being treated barbarically, both at the farm and in transit. The company has refused to allow local photographers to take pictures of the conditions.
In 1993, Bausch & Lomb said it was 'divesting' Shamrock and transferring it to what was claimed to be a non-profit independent charity called the Biomedical Resources Foundation.
However,cheap fake ray bans sunglasses documents leaked to animal rights groups showed that this was effectively a front for Bausch & Lomb.
The Observer has now discovered that Shamrock Ltd has since been transferred from the foundation back to a company called Charles River, which specialises in supplying animals for vivisection in the US and Europe.
A Companies House search reveals that the 'ultimate holding company' of Charles River is Bausch & Lomb. Bausch & Lomb gives no details of these businesses in its annual report, even though Shamrock's turnover is estimated to be more than £3 million.
Animal rights groups are stepping up a campaign for a boycott of Bausch & Lomb products. The company is in the process of selling the subsidiary which makes Ray-Bans, but it remains the market leader in contact lens solutions. It also makes own-brand optical products for Boots and opticians Dolland & Aitchison.
Peter Keevil, a spokesman for the British Union Against Vivisection, said: 'The trade in live monkeys for research is a trail of misery and death. These primates are tortured or cruelly killed for trival and needless experiments.'
Bausch & Lomb refused to comment, but a statement from Shamrock said: 'While primates continue to be essential models for research, Shamrock will continue to provide the highest standards for the supply of purpose-bred primates, a small but vital role in the search for healthier lives of man and animals.'
Shamrock's monkeys are used by Cambridge University and by pharmaceutical giants Glaxo Wellcome and Smithkline Beecham.
Labour banned the use of great apes for medical experiments shortly after winning the 1997 general election, because of the animals' capacity to feel pain. Animal rights groups believe the ban should be extended to all primates and are calling for a Royal Commission on vivisection which was promised by the party before it gained power.
Welcome to Nindilingarri Cultural Health Services
Fitzroy Crossing is situated in the heart of the Kimberley, 400km east of Broome, and 290km west of Halls Creek. The Fitzroy Valley extends for a radius of approximately 150km from Fitzroy Crossing. There are more than 45 Aboriginal Communities in the Valley. The population of the Valley is approximately 3,500 people, of whom 80% are Indigenous. There are 5 main Aboriginal language groups, each with their own distinct language and customs
Nindilingarri Cultural Health Services (NCHS) is an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO). It began in 1995, following a wide reaching community consultation. The consultation aimed to establish the type of health service the local Community wanted. The clear message from this consultation was that the community wanted a holistic, culturally appropriate service that recognises the impact of Aboriginal Law, Culture, Spirit and Land issues on the health of the Community. The Community also specified that they wanted an ACCHO that focused on disease prevention and health promotion. Most importantly, they wanted a service that worked together with the existing, State run, hospital service to avoid duplication of services and improve the quality of services for local people. It was from this consultation that the concept of a partnership between the Fitzroy Valley Health Service (FVHS) and NCHS was formed.
Help us go to the FASD conference in Canada by making a donation at https://www.mycause.com.au/page/87235/overcomingfasdinthefitzroyvalley Any help is appreciated, thank you.
NCHS has 3 main divisions; these are Health Promotion, Health Services and Community Services. Each of these divisions is split into separate areas, as shown:
- Spiritual Health
- Child Maternal Health
- Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health
- Smoking Cessation
- Sexual Health
- Visiting Families
- Bush Medicine
An all Aboriginal Committee governs NCHS. In line with the Constitution, the Committee is made up of representatives from each of the main language groups within the Fitzroy Valley (i.e. Bunuba, Gooniyandi, Walmajarri, and Wangkatjungka). The NCHS Committee of Management comprises five members and meets several times a year.
Administratively, the organization has a CEO, supported by a Executive Director and a Corporate Services Coordinator. The Executive Director is responsible for all of the above mentioned services as well as the effective and efficient administration of the organization. Each program area and associated staff work group is supported by a Program and Services Team Leader who reports to the Director of Services.