For Immediate Release:
March 16, 2022
Robin Goist 202-483-7382
Parrish, Fla. – Now that Florida-based exotic-animal dealer Jimmy Wayne Hammonds (aka “The Monkey Whisperer”) has pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the illegal sale and transport of primates—including his notorious sale of a capuchin monkey to singer Chris Brown—PETA has just sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), urging it to revoke his federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) license. Without the license, Hammonds could no longer legally sell exotic animals for the pet trade.
In the letter, PETA points out that the USDA has cause to terminate an AWA license if the licensee “has been found to have violated any Federal, State, or local laws or regulations pertaining to the transportation, ownership, neglect, or welfare of animals.” Hammonds fits the bill, as his convictions include conspiracy to commit wildlife trafficking—a felony—and three counts of violating the Endangered Species Act.
“Revoking the license of a convicted wildlife trafficker is just common sense, and it’s necessary to protect the animals still in his clutches from being sold as ‘pets,’” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Michelle Sinnott. “PETA urges the USDA to cancel this felon’s license so he can’t treat monkeys as merchandise.”
More about Hammonds’ convictions—and the PETA complaint regarding Brown that prompted law enforcement to investigate—is available here.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—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.