Charles River, Major Supplier of Animals to Labs, Under Federal Investigation for Monkey-Importation Issues

For Immediate Release:
February 22, 2023

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) are conducting parallel civil and criminal investigations into Charles River Laboratories for possible violations of the law involving the importation of monkeys. The DOJ has subpoenaed the animal testing giant, one of the largest importers of monkeys for experiments, and the company has agreed, at least for now, not to sell any of the monkeys involved, according to a just-posted filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a company shareholder briefing this morning.

PETA is demanding that if monkeys were imported illegally, the FWS revoke the company’s license to import them and release any that were involved in illegal activities to sanctuaries at the company’s expense.

“If Charles River Laboratories has trafficked monkeys to U.S. laboratories or violated other laws, it should be stripped of its license to import them and pay for the sanctuary placement of all those involved,” says PETA primate scientist Dr. Lisa Jones-Engel. “All Charles River customers that purchased monkeys from the company must be investigated and forced to release any that were illegally brought to the U.S. for use in cruel, pointless experiments.”

These investigations follow the November 16 DOJ indictments of Cambodian government officials and nationals who allegedly conspired to import long-tailed macaques into the U.S. from Cambodia illegally.

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

Charles River has a long history of violating laws and regulations. It has failed to provide suffering animals with pain relief or appropriate medical care, failed to conduct proper veterinary inspections before trucking monkeys across the country, and even baked monkeys alive.

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

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