Monkeys Trucked 3,000 Miles Without Required Vet Exams; PETA Files Federal Complaint

Complaint Also Filed With CDC After Video Showed Inspector Failing to Observe Imported Monkeys for Illness

For Immediate Release:
February 16, 2023

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Reno, Nev. – Notorious monkey importer Worldwide Primates and repeat-offender monkey transport company JKL Secure Freight Lines sent 167 monkeys on a nearly 3,000-mile trek from Miami to Charles River Laboratories in Reno without the proper, required veterinary examinations, according to evidence uncovered by PETA.

Federal laws require that monkeys transported between laboratories or breeding facilities be examined by a veterinarian within 10 days of shipment to ensure that they’re not showing signs of infectious disease that could endanger other monkeys or humans. Because the monkeys transported were not examined within this required period, PETA filed a complaint today urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to investigate and, if warranted, suspend or revoke licenses and pursue penalties for this violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

The “multi-day, roughly 3,000-mile” trip risked the health of not just the long-tailed macaques but also that of the monkeys already at Charles River and the public at large because the animals had not been adequately examined, PETA says in its USDA complaint.

PETA also recently obtained video footage of crates of monkeys being unloaded from a plane onto a JKL truck while a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) inspector stood by, into the solid wood crates to see if the monkeys showed signs of illness, if they had any food or water, or even if they were still alive. The monkeys came into Miami from St. Kitts via Conquest Air Cargo on January 11. PETA filed a complaint with the CDC alerting the agency to its inspector’s failure to fulfill the stipulations of her position as the first line of defense.

“JKL, Charles River Laboratories, and Worldwide Primates continue to flout federal law in ways that harm animals and endanger the public,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling on the USDA to revoke the licenses of these reckless players and on the CDC to finally put an end to our country’s shameful, deadly monkey pipeline.”

Worldwide Primates has a long history of violating state federal, and international laws that are in place to protect primates and public health. The USDA slapped JKL with citations after an April 2022 complaint by PETA provided evidence that the transporter had violated the veterinary exam regulation 14 separate times. Last year, also in response to a PETA complaint, the USDA cited Charles River for transporting monkeys from its Reno facility to the University of Utah without required veterinary inspections.

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.

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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