PETA to CDC: Suspend Monkey Imports in Light of New Endangered Status

For Immediate Release:
July 27, 2022

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Hendry County, Fla.

In a significant move that should have an impact on wasteful, old-style animal experiments, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced that the conservation status of long-tailed macaques and pig-tailed macaques has been changed from “vulnerable” to “endangered.” The long-tailed macaque is the most commonly used monkey in U.S. laboratories, and exploitation of these once-plentiful animals as part of the international wildlife trade to experimenters in the U.S. is a major factor in the species’ dramatic population crash. In light of the alarming status change—and because the IUCN also projects that wild populations of these monkeys will experience an additional decline of 50% over their next three generations if current threats are not mitigated—PETA is calling on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to end all importation of monkeys for experiments indefinitely so that wild populations can recover.

The macaque wildlife trade is steeped in violence and disease. A vast monkey-abduction pipeline has been funneling hundreds of thousands of wild-caught monkeys into the U.S. Import, quarantine, and holding facilities in Florida’s Hendry County and Texas’ Jim Wells County can contain thousands of macaques each month. Published papers show that monkeys in those counties have infectious diseases and the dangers to the monkeys and the public can no longer be ignored. The CDC is tasked with controlling the flow of monkeys into the U.S., yet on multiple occasions over the past three decades, primates imported into the country as part of the experimentation trade have arrived with infectious agents such as Ebola-Reston virus, simian hemorrhagic fever, and tuberculosis. Between 2019 and 2020, the CDC reported a 5.6% increase in the number of monkeys who died during quarantine.

“Scores of sensitive long-tailed macaques are being torn away from their wild homes for use in the U.S.’ animal experimentation industry, and population numbers have nosedived as a result,” says PETA science advisor and primate expert Dr. Lisa Jones-Engel. “PETA is urging the CDC to ban all monkey importation immediately for everyone’s sake.”

PETA notes that the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) admit that 95% of all new drugs that test safe and effective in animals are either unsafe or ineffective in humans. PETA scientists’ Research Modernization Deal provides a strategy for replacing animals with modern, human-relevant research methods. PETA supports the FDA Modernization Act, which would eliminate the agency’s mandate to require tests on animals in drug testing.

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 or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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