For Immediate Release:
September 30, 2022
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Avoyelles Parish, La. – After PETA shared concerns about Jeffrey Quebedeaux’s plan to build a dangerous monkey prison in the area, the Avoyelles Parish School Board—angry that Quebedeaux hadn’t fulfilled the terms of his—voted to keep the monkey business out of town and initiated eviction proceedings to terminate Quebedeaux’s lease and collect past-due rent. If completed, the facility would have been a waystation for thousands of endangered monkeys destined for experiments. It would have violated state laws prohibiting the possession of primates and risked the spread of diseases.
As PETA explained in letters to the school board and local and federal authorities, monkeys can carry simian hemorrhagic fever virus, Ebola-like viruses, tuberculosis, West Nile virus, malaria, Chagas disease, simian immunodeficiency virus, herpes B, hepatitis, and other infectious pathogens and diseases, which they can shed in their feces, saliva, blood, and urine and which are transmissible to humans.
“This hell on Earth for monkeys would primarily have held long-tailed macaques, whom experimenters have driven to the brink of extinction, and it would have posed a serious biohazard to the local community,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “The Avoyelles Parish School Board has made the right ethical and fiscal decision—and will be protecting public health.”
Quebedeaux owns the transportation company behind the high-profile crash earlier this year of a truck carrying 100 long-tailed macaques imported from Mauritius, which sent dozens of crates holding monkeys—who had not yet been quarantined or tested for dangerous pathogens—flying into the air, and three escaped monkeys were ultimately shot dead. Quebedeaux Transport was also involved in a 2020 incident in which a truck hauling monkeys caught fire.
Monkeys imported to the U.S. for use in experiments are torn from their homes in nature or raised on squalid breeding farms in Africa or Asia. At the laboratories where they end up, they’re imprisoned in barren cages, force-fed chemicals, addicted to cocaine or other drugs, harmed when holes are drilled into their skulls, and eventually killed.
After PETA learned of Quebedeaux’s plans from state records, the group sent complaints to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the mayor of Bunkie, and the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury as well as the school board. The USDA subsequently turned down Quebedeaux’s application for a research permit.
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.