Feds Cite Charles River Laboratories for Illegal Monkey Transport After PETA Complaint

For Immediate Release:
September 12, 2022

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Reno, Nev. – In a step toward ending cruel and dangerous monkey importation and transportation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited notorious experimentation giant Charles River Laboratories for transporting monkeys from its Reno facility to the University of Utah without veterinary inspections required under the federal Animal Welfare Act.

The citation stems from a PETA complaint filed in April urging the agency to investigate Charles River and other primate laboratories for flouting a federal law designed to protect animals and the public from dangerous diseases. Under the law, monkeys transported between laboratories or breeding facilities must be examined by a veterinarian within 10 days of shipment to ensure that they’re healthy and not showing signs of disease that could infect humans or other monkeys. But documents show that at least 1,881 monkeys who had not been examined within the required dates were trucked across multiple states, including Nevada, at the behest of Charles River and other laboratories.

The USDA also cited one of the transport companies involved in PETA’s complaint—JKL Secure Freight Lines—for violating this federal requirement on 14 separate occasions. Other laboratories named in PETA’s complaint are Labcorp Drug Development, the National Institutes of Health, Orient BioResource Center, PreLabs, and Primera Science Center.

“If Charles River and other laboratories can’t even manage to conduct timely veterinary inspections, it begs the question of what other basic requirements they’re failing to fulfill,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is urging officials to keep cracking down on this notorious monkey business for the sake of tormented animals and an at-risk public.”

Charles River’s long history of animal welfare violations reads like a criminal indictment: It has failed to offer adequate veterinary care, failed to provide suffering animals with pain relief, failed to ensure the psychological well-being of primates, and pathologically neglected animals, resulting in horrific deaths. A monkey was scalded to death when her cage was run through a high-temperature mechanical cage washer while she was still locked inside, and the company was fined $10,000 after 32 monkeys were baked to death at its Nevada laboratory when a thermostat malfunctioned and no one noticed.

Monkeys who can carry tuberculosis, deadly diarrheal pathogens, West Nile virus, malaria, Chagas disease, herpes B, and other diseases and infectious agents that are transmissible to humans are in U.S. laboratories right now and have been transported via truck throughout the country. During fiscal years 2019 to 2021,  407 shipments brought 92,430 monkeys to the U.S. from other countries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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 or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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