Feds Indict Alleged Monkey Smugglers Who Supplied U.S. Labs


PETA has been pulling back the curtain on the shady world of laboratory-bound monkey importation, in which adherence to safety, regulations, and laws as well as compassion are in woefully short supply.

Now, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have acted.

After a five-year investigation, those agencies just announced the indictment of multiple individuals—including Cambodian government officials—allegedly involved in a monkey-laundering and -smuggling ring that supplied U.S. laboratories with long-tailed macaques captured in their forest homes in Cambodia and falsely identified as captive-born.

One of the companies that imports monkeys from Cambodia is Inotiv, whose beagle-breeding Envigo facility shut down after a chain of events that followed a PETA undercover investigation. In fact, Inotiv has admitted in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing that a conglomerate known as Vanny, with six employees indicted by the DOJ, is its principal supplier of long-tailed macaques.

monkey shipped in wooden crate

PETA first became aware of Inotiv’s possible involvement in alleged illegal activities in July. At that time, we sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the agency with the authority to regulate and halt primate importation, and asked that in recognition of the potential for illegal importation and the risks that this carries not just for primate conservation but also for public health threats inherent in the trafficking of wild monkeys, it immediately suspend all importation of primates for use in laboratory experimentation. The CDC failed to respond to our concerns.

And last month, following the importation of 1,080 long-tailed macaques from Cambodia into the U.S. transported by Hainan and Maleth Aero airlines, neither of which appeared to possess a valid U.S. Department of Agriculture registration to transport monkeys, PETA requested that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigate whether these airlines and the companies they supply—including  Inotiv—had violated the law.

We hope those indicted will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and, if convicted, prevented from ever coming near a monkey again.

During the last decade, at least 100,000 long-tailed macaques were taken from the forests and protected areas of Cambodia or confined to filthy, disease-ridden monkey farms to be sold for exportation to the U.S. and other countries for use in laboratory experiments.

The exploitation of these monkeys has been so catastrophic that recently, the conservation status of long-tailed macaques was elevated to “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The alleged false labeling of these monkeys as “captive-bred” is a crime that appears to be enabled by greedy American animal experimenters who refuse to admit that their studies are killing monkeys, failing to help humans, and decimating wild populations.

What You Can Do

Please take a minute to join the thousands of PETA supporters who have urged the CDC to shut down the monkey abduction pipeline before the animal experimentation industry depletes the world of monkeys entirely.


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