Update: Court Orders Chimpanzee’s Move to Sanctuary

For Immediate Release:
November 21, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Festus, Mo. – The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri has just granted PETA’s motion for summary judgment against Andrew Sawyer, who boarded a chimpanzee named Joey in solitary confinement at the Missouri Primate Foundation from 2013 to 2016, when PETA sent a required notice of intent to sue under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)—and Sawyer absconded with Joey to an undisclosed location.

The district court has now ruled that Sawyer violated the ESA by failing to meet Joey’s fundamental social, physical, and psychological needs; terminated his ownership of the chimpanzee; and ordered counsel for PETA and Sawyer to agree on an acceptable accredited sanctuary where Joey can live for the rest of his life.

“After years of isolation in substandard conditions at the Missouri Primate Foundation, Joey finally has a future,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel for Animal Law Jared Goodman. “At a proper sanctuary, he’ll have space to roam, expert care, and the opportunity to interact with other members of his highly social species.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. More information about the Missouri Primate Foundation is available here.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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