Our dossier « Niederhausbergen »

Our dossier « Niederhausbergen »

This dossier concerns the trade in primates of the University of Strasbourg, France (passing through the primate centre of Niederhausbergen, near Strasbourg); primates bought 10 euros per kilo and resold 5000 euros the animal to European laboratories.

In 2009, the UNISTRA (University of Strasbourg) won the national call for projects of the first interministerial fund of 1.7 million euros allowing it to create ADUEIS (Association for the development of university-business links in healthcare industries) ; organization since dissolved. The trade in primates has been reintegrated into the University of Strasbourg and has resulted in more opacity.

This money is used to finance new facilities on the Fort Foch in Niederhausbergen to accommodate primates (which at the beginning were mainly devoted to ethology). According to various prefectural authorizations, the center received from 400 to 800 and then to 1,600 animals (2014). A trademark is registered : SILABE.

These animals come mainly from Mauritius, bought €10 per kg and sold to European pharmaceutical laboratories at €5,000 per primate (laboratories such as Covance, Hoffmann Laroche, Servier, Novartis etc.).

In July 2015, Dr Anne Vonesch vice-president of Alsace Nature and member of the European Environment Bureau entrusted this dossier to Sylvia Hecker, vice-president of Pro Anima — Scientific committee. Sylvia was thus commissioned to conduct a major investigation. Since then, enormous work has been done to influence the closure of this sordid primate trade.

Soon after, various organizations joined Pro Anima.

A motivated and united group

Pro Anima has thus collaborated with Animalsace, whose former president Cyril Ernst remains our partner for the legal aspect of the case.

Then with Code Animal, Fight for Monkeys, International Campaigns, Animal testing, 269Life, Animalise student union from the University of Strasbourg), with Soko Tierschutz (notably about the American platform Covance and its client laboratories — including LPT — which closed down in 2020 thanks to several important events that brought together up to 15,000 people).

We should also note Artze gegen Tierversuche who, each year during the protests, sent a delegation of doctors who are members of the NGO, but also RAO Reporters (Reporters for Animals Only), Antidote Europe and many other associations.

Information and communication work

We have around ten of our scientific advisers present in Strasbourg, national and European elected representatives, several members of the Executive board of the University of Strasbourg, including a legal executive who also belongs to the European public service ; the national police, general information or the gendarmerie of Mundolsheim on which the municipality of Niederhausbergen depends. Several French personalities supported our protests, such as in 2020, for the virtual protest, Matthieu Ricard, Aymeric Caron and many others.

Pro Anima is also in contact with local and national media, and German media.

Finally, we work with our lawyers specializing in public and environmental law : Huglo-Lepage firm, which only defends media cases and those to be publicized (Corinne Lepage, former Minister for the Environment and MEP, herself being a lawyer). This firm represents a huge opportunity to achieve our goals.

All these remarkable people trust us and cooperate harmoniously.

Collective actions for monkeys : “Justice for Monkeys”

Thus, events have been taking place every year, since 2015.

In 2020, with the initiative and determination of Alexandra Justamente — Fight for Monkeys, we co-organized (due to health restrictions) the 1st European Virtual March “Justice for Monkeys”.


Our 1st petition, posted in November 2014, with Animalsace, against the expansion of primate breeding in Niederhausbergen, has been signed by more than 144,000 people ; and on paper by more than 8,800 people including 80 scientists.

A second petition, launched in 2019 with Animalise and Antidote Europe, for the closure of the center has more than 70,000 supports.

Sign the petition here

These actions and our protest in public space generate numerous press articles and television appearances.

Various letters were also sent to the Chancelleries and to various public authorities.

We get several meetings with the Prefect’s services (accompanied by a delegation of scientists), then with the President of the University himself.

In 2019, the University of Strasbourg’s turnover from the sale of primates fell by 50%.

To come

An appeal has been filed with the Strasbourg Administrative Court against the approval of the Niederhausbergen Primate Center.

In order to allow the legal debate to proceed smoothly, we have suspended public demonstrations for the time being.

Pro Anima, with Sylvia Hecker, represents since 2015 the pioneer base camp of this dossier. However, we continue to welcome all the goodwill that has concerns for the common good, and more precisely that of the fate of our close cousins the non-human primates of Niederhausbergen.

An objective at once ethical, scientific and ecological

We must denounce not only these cruel and empirical practices on these primates ; but also dismantle companies, conflicts of interest, influence peddling and organizations parallel to this trafficking ; and still prove how we can do it differently and better.

With the help of our lawyers, we hope to be able to shut down the Niederhausbergen Primate Center and stop this sordid traffic.

The mission of a university is research and teaching, but certainly not commerce.

Contact us on this issue

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Comité scientifique Pro Anima
10, rue de Romanswiller
F‑67200 Strasbourg

After a meeting at the prefecture to request the closure of the Niederhausbergen Center.
From left to right, Sylvia Hecker (Vice-president of Pro Anima), Mrs Huguette Werck, Dr Staub, Dr Bléger, Pr Fougerousse (all 3 members of Pro Anima Scientific board), and Earl Christian d’Andlau-Hombourg.