Charles River Labs to Transport 1,000 Laundered Monkeys Back to Cambodia; Feds Must Stop It

For Immediate Release:
March 13, 2023

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


The feds have OK’d a plan for Charles River Laboratories to send 1,000 endangered monkeys brought illegally to the U.S. back to Cambodia. PETA demands that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) stop it right now and release the monkeys to sanctuaries.

PETA has learned that animal testing giant Charles River Laboratories likely intends to truck about 1,000 long-tailed macaques from Houston to Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday morning, where they will be put on the next flight back to Cambodia, apparently with the blessing of FWS and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

PETA has learned that these are likely the same monkeys FWS prevented from being experimented on in U.S. laboratories because Charles River couldn’t prove that they hadn’t been abducted from their forest homes, instead of bred in captivity.

“FWS needs to do its job and protect these monkeys from being recycled into the forest-to-laboratory pipeline,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA urges FWS to do the right thing and send these gentle beings to worthy, willing sanctuaries.”

PETA and Born Free USA, which operates one of the largest primate sanctuaries in the U.S., have been working together and with FWS for months to bring these monkeys to a reputable sanctuary to spend the rest of their lives in peace.

“To learn that the government has decided to wash their hands of these innocent animals and ship them back to those who stole them from their wild homes is heartbreaking,” says Angela Grimes, CEO of Born Free USA. “They have been through enough. We stand ready to continue working with PETA and the government toward a humane solution.”

Charles River’s reported move on Tuesday follows ongoing civil and criminal investigations against the company for its possible violations of monkey-importation laws as well as DOJ indictments of Cambodian officials and nationals for allegedly selling monkeys abducted from their forest home as bred in captivity.

Importation of monkeys by Charles River and other U.S. laboratory suppliers is pushing these monkeys to the brink of extinction. Recent reports out of Southeast Asia indicate that there will soon be no wild monkeys left in Cambodia, Laos, or Vietnam.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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