Monkeys Shipped to Nine States With Inadequate Tests for Tuberculosis

PETA Points to TB Outbreak in Michigan Lab, Warns of Potential Wider Outbreak

For Immediate Release:
August 17, 2023

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va.

PETA has obtained veterinary documentation showing that multiple states—Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, and Pennsylvania—have received shipments of monkeys with outdated tuberculosis (TB) test results since January 2021. Wisconsin received several shipments as recently as June 2023 without proof of any TB test. Documents are available upon request.

In letters sent today (please see links above) PETA urges the state veterinarians of these nine states to stop accepting monkeys from across state lines and to take immediate steps to prepare for the possibility of a TB outbreak among current monkey populations.

For decades, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which could suspend the importation of monkeys, has failed to stop the flow of diseased monkeys into and throughout the U.S. Monkeys have exited their supposedly foolproof CDC quarantine still infected with deadly pathogens. The CDC’s dangerous inadequacies are on full display in a recent federal investigation that determined that the agency is not comprehensively assessing and conducting surveillance of the disease risks associated with imported primates.

“The CDC has apparently abdicated responsibility for protecting the public from threats inherent in the wildlife trade,” says PETA primate scientist Dr. Lisa Jones-Engel. “State officials must respond and clean up the dangerous mess that the monkey experimentation industry and the CDC are depositing at their borders.”

Research has determined that trade in long-tailed macaques and rhesus macaques—the most commonly used monkeys in laboratories—has the greatest potential for the transmission of zoonotic disease. PETA highlights that Wisconsin shockingly exempts nonhuman primates from health testing requirements for importation into the state—even though the state is home to two of the largest primate laboratories in the country, importing and holding thousands of monkeys.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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