USDA Turns a Blind Eye, Prompting a Complaint From PETA
For Immediate Release:
September 21, 2022
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Houston – Acting on tips from whistleblowers, PETA has uncovered evidence that within the past month a monkey importer owned by laboratory supplier Inotiv—the same company that owns Envigo and its notorious beagle-breeding facility, which is being closed down—has transported more than 1,000 endangered monkeys into the U.S. on two airlines that weren’t registered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)in apparent violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
In response, PETA filed complaints with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Inexplicably, APHIS quietly registered one airline after the fact and has apparently taken no action on the other. So today, PETA is calling on USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jennifer Lester Moffitt to investigate APHIS’ failure to enforce the AWA. PETA is urging her to revoke Inotiv’s monkey-breeding licenses.
“Inotiv couldn’t take care of the beagles it bred and sold to laboratories, so it’s no surprise that the company apparently paid airlines that were illegally transporting monkeys,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “The USDA’s apparent failure to uphold the law regarding the importation of monkeys who are caught up in the wildlife trade poses a major disease risk.”
On September 1, Maleth Aero transported hundreds of long-tailed macaques—a monkey species recently listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature—from Asia to Houston for Inotiv. On September 8, PETA notified APHIS that the airline was not registered, as required under federal law. The following day, despite its flagrant violation, Maleth Aero was registered by the agency to transport primates.
APHIS has also failed to act on PETA’s August 23 complaint reporting that Hainan Airlines—also not registered—imported nearly 1,000 monkeys for a second Inotiv-owned facility in Texas.
Long-tailed macaques are now recognized as an endangered species in large part due to their trapping and exploitation as part of the international wildlife trade to U.S. laboratories, where they’re mutilated, poisoned, deprived of food and water, forcibly immobilized in restraint devices, infected with painful and deadly diseases, psychologically tormented, and killed. Monkeys caught up in the wildlife trade and destined for U.S. laboratories can carry Ebola-Reston virus, tuberculosis, malaria, herpes B, simian hemorrhagic fever virus, deadly diarrheal pathogens, and other pathogens and diseases that can spread to humans.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.