Over 1,000 monkeys bred for labs to be moved to Ben Shemen Forest sanctuary

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

A 30-year battle to save a group of monkeys bred for laboratory experiments overseas looks set to end happily.

At a meeting at the Environmental Protection Ministry, the KKL-JNF Jewish National Fund confirms that it will provide land in the Ben Shemen Forest in the center of the country to expand the existing Israel Primate Sanctuary so that nearly 1,100 macaque monkeys can be transferred from cramped cages at the Mazor Farm near Petah Tikva.

Activists protest against monkeys being shipped for medical research abroad from the Mazor Farm in Israel on December 19, 2014. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

The ministry has already pledged NIS 10 million ($3.2 million) toward accommodation for the animals.

The monkeys had been looked after by a not-for-profit organization since 2015, but on December 1, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority formally took responsibility for the animals.

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