TANZANIA IS HUB OF BABOON TRAFFIC
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2000:
ARUSHA, Tanzania– – Growing
global concern about the decline of primates in
the wild and the possibility of more stringent
regulation of primate exports has coincided
with a flurry of primate sales to laboratories by
African and Asian dealers whom some sources
liken to bar patrons rushing to grab one last
drink “for the road” at closing time.
One apparent hub of the traffic,
especially in wild-trapped baboons, is Arusha,
Tanzania, located near the Kenya border with
paved road access to international airports at
Nairobi and Mombasa in Kenya, as well as
the Tanzanian capital of Dar es Salaam.
Most of the baboons went to the
U.S. via Kenya until March 2000, according
to the British Union for the Abolition of
Vivisection. The Kenya Wildlife Service
embargoed baboon exports and revoked the
permits of dealer Richard Mann, who had
been the only licensed exporter, after finding
more than 100 baboons in miserable condition
at Mann’s Nairobi warehouse.
Mann has reportedly been unable to
get a permit to move his operations to
Tanzania. Fully identifying all of the
Tanzanian dealers can be difficult, however,
even with copies of their Primate Supply
Information Clearinghouse 2001 listings in
hand. Paradise Exports, for instance, of P.O.
Box 7522, Arusha, Tanzania, names no personnel,
gives no street address, offers a fax
address in Britain which cannot be traced, and
has a Yahoo e-mail account, which could
originate from anywhere in the world.
ANIMAL PEOPLE learned that
investigators for at least three different animal
protection groups believe Paradise Exports is
owned by a Tanzanian baboon trapper who
may be working in association with convicted
American primate smuggler Matthew Block.
Coincidentally, Animal Welfare
Institute executive director Cathy Liss recognized
Block engaged in conversation with Jim
Sears of Three Springs Scientific Inc. in the
vendors’ area at the November 5-9 American
Association of Laboratory Animal Science
conference in San Diego. Liss exposed
Block’s history on the spot in a public
What business Block may have had
at the conference remained unclear.