Texas County Votes Down Monkey Prison: Will the State, Feds Follow?

Published by Clover Raine.

The votes are in, and Brazoria County, Texas, has made it clear: People there don’t want Charles River Laboratories to build a monkey prison. In a unanimous decision, the county commissioners voted to support a resolution recommending that state and federal authorities deny Charles River permits to build a 500-acre facility to warehouse monkeys on environmentally sensitive land.

a metal gate with a sign reading "Private property no trespassing". Behind the gate is a field of green grass, and further behind is a building and a treeline.

This is an important, if symbolic, step toward foiling Charles River’s speciesist ambitions in Texas. State and federal authorities could ignore the resolution, but this initial act of grassroots opposition shows the shady company—which is already under multiple civil and criminal investigations related to importing monkeys—that Brazoria County means business.

Destined for Disaster: Facilities That Test on Animals Ruin What They Touch

In addition to being a hotbed of animal agony, Charles River’s proposed facility would generate mountains of biological waste and introduce monkeys’ saliva, blood, and other bodily fluids into the local environment.

Not only is this waste disgusting, it’s also an ecological and public health disaster waiting to happen.

Animals previously imported into the U.S. by Charles River have tested positive for deadly diseases that can spread to humans and other animals. There’s no reason to think a new facility overseen by the company would be any different.

Monkeys victimized by the wildlife trade for experimentation are known to potentially carry and transmit a slew of nasty pathogens and diseases, including the following:

  • Campylobacter
  • Dengue fever
  • Ebola-like viruses
  • Herpes B virus
  • Malaria
  • Salmonellosis
  • Shigellosis
  • Simian hemorrhagic fever virus
  • Tuberculosis

As has happened at other Texas primate laboratories in the past, monkeys sometimes escape from the facilities that hold them captive.

Simply put, the risks posed by Charles River’s proposed monkey warehouse to Brazoria County communities are far too high.

Nobody Wants Charles River’s Awful Legacy

Why would anyone want serial animal abusers in their county? Charles River is already a top importer of long-tailed macaques—listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature—into the U.S., experimenting on more of them than any other company. This included 16,000 monkeys in 2022 alone.

The monkey-trafficking industry is an unending horror for the victims involved.

Charles River’s attitude toward the monkeys it exploits for profit was never more clear than when its CEO referred to monkeys in their native habitats as “pests”.

PETA Called, Locals Answered

PETA helped inform Brazoria County community members about the danger brewing in their backyard. We sent 4,000 letters to residents alerting them to the risks of a massive monkey-importation and -breeding warehouse. We explained that Charles River Laboratories is apparently doing business as Kandurt LLC, a newly incorporated company led by a Charles River executive.

PETA primate scientist Dr. Lisa Jones-Engel also spoke at the Brazoria County commissioners’ meeting on November 14, briefing attendees about the dangers that the facility could pose to both humans and other animals in the area.

After PETA gave residents the scoop on what was happening in their county, they sprang into action. Brazoria County’s grassroots mobilization against the proposed facility was swift and decisive. The county commissioners heard residents’ voices loud and clear. Now the state and federal governments need to respect their wishes.

Stick Up for Monkeys Across the U.S.

The U.S. experimentation industry currently holds about 108,000 monkeys in laboratories and imports an additional 30,000 from Africa and Asia each year. They’re used in a dizzying array of painful and deadly ways, including as test subjects for herbicides and pesticides or to test new pharmaceutical drugs, the vast majority of which are worthless.

Please take a minute to urge the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to stop this madness. Monkeys need your support more than ever as they’re ripped from their mothers’ arms, flown around the world, forced to breed, and subjected to horrific, worthless experiments.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind

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Monkeys don’t belong in laboratory cages.

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Monkeys don’t belong in laboratory cages.

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.