Feds Inspect Florida Monkey Dealer After PETA Sting

PETA Investigation Reveals Suffering, Fear, and Death at Supplier to Federal Government, University Laboratories

For Immediate Release:
June 2, 2015

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Immokalee, Fla. – An eight-month PETA eyewitness investigation has documented systemic neglect and violent handling of monkeys at Primate Products, Inc. (PPI), which imports hundreds of monkeys every year and sells them to laboratories for sometimes invasive, painful, and deadly experiments. PETA’s eyewitness video footage, available here, has prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to inspect the facility.

PETA’s footage documents horrific conditions at the Florida facility, where sick and injured monkeys were sometimes denied adequate veterinary care and forced to live in filthy, barren, and dangerous conditions. Some monkeys paced in circles and rocked from side to side from boredom and stress, and workers sometimes failed to separate monkeys who had been attacked by aggressive cagemates, leaving them with exposed bone, bite wounds, and/or hair loss. The eyewitness video shows workers holding monkeys with protruding rectal tissue—which can be a sign of extreme distress—and crudely shoving the tissue back into their bodies.

Workers routinely grabbed monkeys by the tails, which not only is stressful but also can cause severe and irreversible nerve pain. Although temperatures dipped to 35 degrees, most monkeys kept outside were denied heat throughout the winter. Monkeys were found dead inside buildings, and a monkey was found dead of suspected hypothermia in an outdoor enclosure. Pens’ floors were sometimes covered with accumulated waste and days’ worth of old food, and PPI’s failing water pump sometimes left thirsty monkeys shaking empty dispensers in search of water.

“The terrified monkeys in this warehouse were forced to suffer in fear, pain, and boredom in barren and sometimes freezing concrete pens and are sometimes denied even adequate veterinary care and water,” says PETA Director of Laboratory Investigations Justin Goodman. “PETA is urging PPI customers to cut ties with the company and is calling on Hendry County officials to shut this horrendous monkey prison down for good.”

In addition to the USDA complaint, PETA is also filing complaints with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration against PPI, which imported 1,000 monkeys from China and Mauritius in 2014—63 percent of whom were wild-caught. In 2014, PPI shipped monkeys to NIH, Charles River Laboratories, and Columbia and New York universities, among others. PPI has been awarded federal contracts worth more than $13 million since June 2004 from agencies such as NIH, the U.S. Army, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Broadcast-quality video footage from PETA’s investigation is available upon request, and photographs are available here. For more information about this PETA eyewitness investigation, please click here.

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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