Experimenters Are Driving Monkey Species to Extinction, Says New Journal Article

For Immediate Release:
September 7, 2023

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


Leading primate scientists from around the world are sounding the alarm on threats to the survival of the monkey species most often used in laboratory experiments. In a commentary just published in the American Journal of Primatology, Dr. Malene Hansen and Dr. Agustín Fuentes of Princeton University, PETA primate scientist Dr. Lisa Jones-Engel, and their colleagues warn that the population of long-tailed macaques—the most highly traded species of primate—has already declined by 40% since the 1980s and, without intervention, is expected to decrease by an additional 50% in just three macaque generations.

The authors identify the capture of hundreds of thousands of macaques and their importation into the U.S. and Europe during the past two decades for use in experiments as a driving force in the population’s decline. The critical role that this keystone species plays in its natural environments and the One Health consequences of its removal from those environments are highlighted as well.

To ensure the long-term survival of long-tailed macaques, the authors recommend several actions. Most important among these is that government agencies around the globe—such as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service—should include long-tailed macaques on their lists of protected and/or endangered species.

“Long-tailed macaques will go extinct if the animal experimentation industry continues to take these animals from their homes and have them killed,” says Jones-Engel. “We must not let primate experimenters cause the extinction of this species.”

American Journal of Primatology

In 2022, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) added long-tailed macaques—a favorite among U.S. animal experimentation laboratories—to its Red List of Threatened Species, placing them among the most endangered species on Earth.

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 PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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