FWS Pushed to Investigate Companies Behind Illegal Monkey Imports


PETA Says Violations of Animal Welfare Act May Also Breach Lacey Act

For Immediate Release:
October 12, 2022

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Washington – On the heels of exposing apparent violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) by two airlines that transported monkeys for two monkey-breeding companies, PETA is now urging the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) to investigate all four companies for apparent violations of the Lacey Act, a federal law designed to stop illegal trafficking of wildlife.

In a letter sent today to Edward Grace, assistant director of the FWS Office of Law Enforcement, PETA notes that the Lacey Act targets the macaque trade and prohibits trading wildlife who have been illegally possessed, transported, or sold. Hainan Airlines and Maleth Aero have reportedly shipped long-tailed macaques without a registration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is an apparent violation of the AWA, which in turn constitutes an apparent violation of the Lacey Act. Long-tailed macaques have just been listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, in large part due to being trapped and exploited as part of the international wildlife trade that supports U.S. laboratories.

PETA has also asked FWS to investigate the facilities that purchased and received the monkeys, one of which is owned by Envigo, whose notorious beagle-breeding facility is being shut down. The other is owned by Envigo’s parent company, Inotiv.

“These astoundingly complex, intelligent primates are being stuffed into cargo holds, apparently illegally, just to fill the failing laboratories of greedy experimenters,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling on FWS to crack down on this multimillion-dollar industry before it sticks another price tag on an endangered monkey.”

In laboratories, long-tailed macaques and other monkeys are mutilated, poisoned, deprived of food and water, forcibly immobilized in restraint devices, infected with painful and deadly diseases, psychologically tormented, and killed. Monkeys victimized in the wildlife trade and destined for U.S. laboratories can carry simian hemorrhagic fever virus, Ebola-Reston virus, tuberculosis, malaria, herpes B, 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.


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