Proposal for Illegal Monkey Prison in Louisiana Prompts PETA Complaint to CDC

Published by PETA.

PETA has uncovered documents that should make Louisianans nervous. Quebedeaux Transport, the company behind a high-profile monkey transport crash on January 21, 2022, involving a truck transporting 100 monkeys across several states, is now attempting to remodel an abandoned human prison to create one for monkeys—even though state officials oppose the plan. It’s bad news for monkeys and for public health.

According to records recently obtained by PETA, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries recently sent a letter urging the company’s owner, Jeffrey Quebedeaux, to cease plans to build a warehouse in Avoyelles Parish meant to warehouse hundreds of monkeys slated for use in experiments. If the project goes through, the facility would apparently violate state laws prohibiting possession of primates and would risk the spread of diseases.

PETA is calling on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to block Quebedeaux and his businesses from importing, quarantining, or holding primates. We pointed out that monkeys can carry tuberculosis, West Nile virus, malaria, Chagas disease, simian immunodeficiency virus, herpes B, hepatitis, and other pathogens and diseases that can spread to humans.

“This proposed prison would be miserable for monkeys warehoused before being sent to laboratories, and it poses an alarming health threat for humans in the community. Jeffrey Quebedeaux seems to be willfully ignoring the law, which should be a red flag to the CDC that his company shouldn’t be trusted to warehouse primates, particularly those who are coming directly from overseas with unknown health histories. PETA is urging the agency to do all it can to stop Quebedeaux’s cruel and dangerous exploits.”

—PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo

The crash in Pennsylvania scattered dozens of wooden crates holding monkeys across the highway. This disaster followed a long and terrifying flight for the monkeys from Mauritius, during which they were confined to the plane’s cargo hold. The long-tailed macaques had arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York that morning and had not yet been quarantined or tested for any pathogens that could endanger humans. Witnesses say that the crates bore no labels warning of potential danger or even indicating that they held monkeys. Three monkeys who escaped and desperately tried to find a safe place in the frigid weather were shot and killed. One woman who tried to help was exposed to monkey saliva and had to undergo antiviral and rabies prevention treatment.

That crash wasn’t the company’s first, either: Quebedeaux Transport was also involved in a 2020 incident in New Jersey in which a truck hauling monkeys caught fire. Jeffrey Quebedeaux’s previous transportation company, Stone Oaks Farm and Transports, was also given an official warning letter from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for violations after the death of a chimpanzee it was hauling to a laboratory.

Take Action for Monkeys Used in Experiments

Laboratory experimenters demand monkeys by the tens of thousands each year, supporting a violent, greedy, and secretive industry that’s fueling the illicit trade in monkeys. Whether abducted from their forest homes or bred on factory farms in Asia and Mauritius, monkeys in this cloak-and-dagger industry are moved from far-flung areas around the globe, endangering native monkey populations and an unsuspecting U.S. public along the way.

PETA is now pulling back the curtain on this clandestine, nasty world in which monkeys are traded for cash, its operatives cloak themselves in secrecy, and the dangers to humans are ignored.

monkey in cage

Please take a minute to TAKE ACTION today by adding your voice in opposition to the CDC’s importation of monkeys for laboratory experimentation. Tell the agency to shut down the monkey-abduction pipeline.

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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