Proposal for Illegal ‘Monkey Prison’ in Avoyelles Parish Prompts PETA Complaint to CDC

For Immediate Release:
July 11, 2022

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Avoyelles Parish, La. – Documents just obtained by PETA reveal that the transportation company behind the high-profile crash earlier this year of a truck carrying 100 monkeys imported from Mauritius is attempting to flout concerns from officials and proceed with plans that threaten primates and public health. According to the records, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries recently sent a letter urging Jeffrey Quebedeaux, owner of Quebedeaux Transport, to cease plans to build a warehouse in Avoyelles Parish for monkeys slated for use in experiments. If completed, the facility would hold several hundred monkeys, in violation of state laws prohibiting possession of nonhuman primates—and risk the spread of diseases.

So in response, PETA sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), calling on the agency to block Quebedeaux and his businesses from importing, quarantining, or holding nonhuman primates. The group points out that monkeys can carry pathogens that cause tuberculosis, West Nile virus, malaria, Chagas disease, simian immunodeficiency virus, herpes B, hepatitis, and other diseases that can spread to humans.

“This proposed prison is a misery for monkeys who would be warehoused before being sent to laboratories, and it poses an alarming health threat for humans in the community,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is urging the CDC to do all it can to stop Quebedeaux’s cruel and dangerous exploits.”

As PETA notes in its letter, the January 21 crash in Pennsylvania sent dozens of crates holding monkeys flying into the air and three escaped monkeys were shot dead. The long-tailed macaques had arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York that morning and had not yet been quarantined or tested for any pathogens that could endanger humans. Witnesses say that the crates had no labels warning of potential danger or even indicating that they held monkeys. The crash wasn’t the company’s first, either: Quebedeaux Transport is the company involved in a 2020 incident in New Jersey, in which a truck hauling monkeys caught on fire. Quebedeaux’s previous transportation company, Stone Oaks Farms and Transports, was also given an official warning from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for violations following the death of a chimpanzee the company was hauling to a laboratory.

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