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Foundation of the European Federation for Primatology (EFP)


by Régine Vercauteren Drubbel

Executive summary


This note wishes to give an overview of the various steps that led to the creation in 1993 of the European Federation for Primatology. It shows how various European Primatologists joined aiming to open scientific studies on Primatology at European level. How they also interact with the European Commission in order to establish a scientific framework useful for transferring the results of their studies.  


The first steps


In 1992, during the Congress of the International Primatological Society (IPS) in Strasbourg, Bertrand L. Deputte organized a meeting with European primatologists to promote the foundation of a European Primatological Society.


This gave rise to the organization of the first assembly hosted by Nicolas Herrenschmidt (Secretary of the French Speaking Primatological Society, SFDP) at Niederhausbergen close to Strasbourg, France. 

December 17, 1993: the founding committee included 7 national representatives:

Bertrand Deputte (France), Fernando Colmenares (Spain), Robin Crompton (United Kingdom), Bob Martin (Switzerland), Marina Vancatova (Czech Republic), Régine Vercauteren Drubbel (Belgium), Christian Welker (loco Holger Preuschoft, Germany).

Moreover Elisabetta Visalberghi (Italy) and Jan van Hooff (The Netherlands) expressed their wish to be part of the founding committee but could not attend the meeting.

At this meeting the society was named the European Federation for Primatology (EFP), with the purpose to join up National Societies of Primatology and National Groups of Primatologists of European countries. The constitution was shaped.

Folia Primatologica, published by S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland was chosen as the Federation's official publication.

Bertrand Deputte was elected first President and Régine Vercauteren Drubbel first Secretary


The first Aims of the European Federation for Primatology

 (1)   coordinate the circulation of information between the European National Primatological Societies and European Groups of Primatologists, in particular by organizing scientific meetings

 (2)   promote the national management of captive primates and the conservation of wild primates; to make scientific studies on primates in captivity and in habitat countries accessible to as many students and researchers as possible

(3)    participate, through the Council of Europe, in decisions relevant to the primate trade and the breeding of primates in captivity

Design of the official EFP

In June 1994 the Constitution of the EFP, endorsed by Deputte (President) and Vercauteren Drubbel (Secretary), was published in the Official Journal in France. The official announcement of the officers and extracts from the constitution can be found here:


It was proposed and later approved that the EFP Secretary would be nominated as the Secretary for Europe at the International Primatological Society (IPS).


This is how EFP started to become more internationally active to achieve its goals and advance its expertise in many areas of primatology.

EFP  Board Meetings milestones

“During these early years there was an evolution in the way of communicating which became simpler with fax and later e-mail …”


In October 1994, at the 2d Board Meeting in Montpellier, Bertrand Deputte (France) was nominated as coordinator for the European expert group on non-human primates, Activities of the Multilateral Consultation of Parties to the European Convention for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals Used for Experimental and Other Scientific Purposes (ETS 123). As coordinator Deputte was entrusted with the task of preparing draft amendments to Appendix A of the Convention. 


In September 1995, on the 3d Board Meeting in Prague:

Maribel Baldellou (loco Fernando Colmenares, Spain), Bertrand Deputte (France), Paul Timmermans (loco Jan van Hooff, The Netherlands), Marina Vancatova (Czech Republic), Régine Vercauteren Drubbel (Belgium), Elisabetta Visalberghi (Italy), Paul Winkler (loco Olger Preuschoft, Germany) were present.

Robin Crompton (UK) and Bob Martin (Switzerland) were excused.

During this board meeting, Bertrand Deputte was re-elected President. Alain van Robais was re-elected Treasurer. Régine Vercauteren Drubbel remained Secretary.

Every year a EFP Board Meeting was organized

In 1998 the Russian Group of Primatologists, represented by Marina L. Butovskaya, joined the EFP.

In 2001, at the Board Meeting in Brussels, it was decided to hold the biennial EFP meetings alternately with the biennial IPS congresses. The vision was to give students the opportunity to have access to a diversity of high quality researchers at a more affordable financial contribution: keeping fees low, especially for students, and reducing travel costs because distances would be shorter.

In 2005 the Portuguese Society of Primatology, represented by Catarina Casanova, joined the EFP.

Activities of the EFP at the European Commission  

Augusto Vitale (Italy), the EFP Secretary, took the European activities over from Bertrand Deputte. From about 2010 he entered the Expert Working Group (EWG), representing EFP, set up by the European Commission to provide guidance and guidelines on the application of the Directive 2010/63/EU for the protection of animals used in scientific procedures.

EFP Presidents (chronological)


Bertrand Deputte (France)

Paul Winkler (Germany)

Régine Vercauteren Drubbel (Belgium)

Peter Kappeler (Germany)

Carel van Schaik (Switzerland)

Julia Fischer (Germany)

Kim Bard (United Kingdom)

Julia Ostner (Germany)

Jorg Massen (The Netherlands)

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