Hainan Airlines’ Illegal Monkey Shipment Prompts PETA Complaint to Feds

For Immediate Release:
August 25, 2022

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


Armed with documentation that a Chinese airline shipped 720 endangered long-tailed macaques this month from Cambodia to Chicago, ultimately destined for a notorious Alice, Texas, monkey facility, PETA filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement, calling for an urgent investigation. The USDA confirmed to PETA that it had canceled Hainan Airline’s registration in May, making this shipment an apparent violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

Based on a whistleblower report, the monkeys were sent to a facility operated by Envigo Global Services Inc. in Alice. Envigo has repeatedly shown that it values profits over animal welfare. Following PETA’s undercover investigation into Envigo’s beagle-breeding facility in Virginia last year, the USDA cited the company for 48 violations of the AWA and a U.S. Department of Justice civil case led Envigo to announce that it will shut down the facility. In 2019, the USDA also cited the company’s monkey facility in Texas with a critical violation of the AWA for failing to provide 25 monkeys with food for six days. Envigo had to euthanize two of these animals because they were so severely starved.

“Whether you’re talking about beagles or monkeys, Envigo cannot be trusted to take care of animals or safeguard public health,” says PETA Senior Science Advisor Dr. Lisa Jones-Engel. “Monkeys brought in from squalid farms in Asia endure terrifying, grueling journeys and can harbor everything from Ebola to malaria. If Hainan can’t be bothered to do the minimum of registering itself as required and Envigo doesn’t ensure that its carrier is legitimate, we have to ask whether they’re following any of the protocols required for public safety.”

Long-tailed macaques are now recognized as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature—in large part due to their exploitation as part of the international wildlife trade to U.S. laboratories, where they’re mutilated, poisoned, deprived of food and water, forcibly immobilized in restraint devices, infected with painful and deadly diseases, psychologically tormented, and killed.

Hainan appears to be one of the last airlines still shipping monkeys to laboratories. In January, Kenya Airways ended the practice just 24 hours after discussions with PETA U.S., Air France followed suit in June after a decade-long campaign by PETA entities, and EGYPTAIR stopped shipping monkeys earlier this month following PETA entities’ global protests.

For more information on PETA’s newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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