For Immediate Release:
December 15, 2022
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Washington – PETA called on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) today to instruct all registered importers who have received monkeys from Cambodia since 2018 to stop the sale and transfer of every monkey in their custody while a criminal investigation into a scheme to import monkeys into the U.S. illegally is ongoing.
PETA rushed a letter to Edward Grace, assistant director of the FWS Office of Law Enforcement, following U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) indictments last month of Cambodian government officials and nationals who allegedly conspired to import long-tailed macaques into the U.S. illegally.
The monkey importers include Inotiv and Worldwide Primates, likely the unnamed, unindicted coconspirators in the scheme. Transport records obtained by PETA reveal that since 2018, Inotiv and Worldwide Primates have together shipped more than 15,000 long-tailed macaques to laboratories nationwide, including to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The DOJ’s indictment alleges felony violations of both the Lacey Act and the Endangered Species Act in a conspiracy to sell macaques abducted from their forest homes and passed off as farm-bred animals. Long-tailed macaques and pig-tailed macaques were listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) earlier this year.
“Each and every endangered long-tailed macaque who may have been illegally ensnared by the vile and voracious experimentation industry deserves the fullest protection of the FWS,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA calls on the agency to take this critical step to uphold the law and spare vulnerable monkeys suffering and death in terrifying laboratories.”
The IUCN has projected that at the current rate, long- and pig-tailed macaques’ populations in nature will decline by 50% over the next three generations of monkeys. Laboratory demand for these once-numerous animals is a major factor in their dramatic decline.
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.