Feds Cite Labcorp for Illegal Monkey Transport After Complaint From PETA

For Immediate Release:
October 14, 2022

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Madison, Wis.

In a step toward ending cruel and dangerous monkey importation and transportation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited experimentation giant Labcorp Drug Development for transporting 21 monkeys from its Wisconsin facility to the notorious Envigo Global Services in Texas without the veterinary inspections required under the federal Animal Welfare Act.

The citation stems from a complaint PETA filed in April urging the agency to investigate Labcorp and other primate laboratories for flouting a federal law designed to protect animals and the public from dangerous diseases. The USDA has already cited Charles River and JKL Secure Freight Lines, both of which were named in PETA’s complaint. 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 Wisconsin and Texas, at the behest of Labcorp and other laboratories.

Other laboratories named in PETA’s complaint are the National Institutes of Health, Orient BioResource Center, PreLabs, and Primera Science Center.

“If Labcorp and other laboratories refuse to conduct timely veterinary inspections, they’re endangering monkeys and humans across multiple states,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is urging officials to keep cracking down on this notorious monkey business.”

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. These monkeys then ping-ponged across the U.S., and not all of them made it to their destination alive.

In September, the USDA fined Labcorp $3,375 for violations of minimum animal welfare standards—including inadequate veterinary care, personnel incompetence, and careless handling of animals. In November 2021, the USDA cited Labcorp for improper handling after staff fractured the arm of a monkey. Labcorp’s history of violations stretches back years. In 2005, PETA documented workers punching, slapping, and violently shaking monkeys at Labcorp’s now-shuttered facility in Vienna, Virginia, when the company was called Covance.

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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