Campaign Updates: Charles River Laboratories

Charles River Laboratories is one of the deadliest companies for animals used in laboratories, but you’ve likely never heard of it. The company supplies one of every two animals used in experimentation and is one of the largest importers of monkeys into the U.S. for experimentation, driving long-tailed macaques to the brink of extinction. You can help 1,000 monkeys allegedly imported into the U.S. illegally by Charles River and now stranded in legal limbo by taking action here.

If you’re a U.S. resident, you can also take action here.

PETA Primate Scientist Takes on Charles River Execs at Shareholder Meeting

May 8, 2024

PETA primate scientist Dr. Lisa Jones-Engel gave an earful to the leadership of Charles River Laboratories during its annual meeting, pointing out that the company misleads shareholders by not disclosing exactly where its imported monkeys come from or which deadly pathogens they could harbor.

Charles River Chief Operating Officer Birgit Girshick didn’t deny the allegations but said the company had never “knowingly” misled anyone. Yet a 2023 investigation by a European animal protection group revealed that Noveprim, the monkey warehouse in Mauritius that Charles River boasts about having acquired, captures monkeys with unknown health histories in their natural homes.

“Charles River’s vague statements should worry shareholders and the public, who have a right to know how many endangered monkeys it’s abducting from the wild and how many of the monkeys it’s importing are infected with diseases,” Jones-Engel says.

Jones-Engel proposed a shareholder resolution requiring Charles River to disclose every imported monkey’s country of origin and whether they were captive-bred or captured in a forest. The resolution would also require the company to disclose what it’s doing to stem the dramatic decrease in the number of macaques in nature and what procedures it follows to screen the monkeys it imports for deadly pathogens.

Two people in hazmat suits drag away a primate

PETA Urges SEC to Investigate as Charles River Laboratories Misleads Shareholders Over Where It Obtains Monkeys

April 18, 2024

Charles River Laboratories’ inaccurate and misleading statements concerning the company’s possible involvement in an international monkey-smuggling ring may affect its shareholders’ wallets—and in a complaint filed today, PETA is calling on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate.

Charles River has given misleading information that cloaks its connection to Vanny Bio Research in Cambodia, the monkey factory farm at the center of a five-year monkey-smuggling investigation by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS). The first of several anticipated trials connected to the investigation recently concluded.

For instance, Charles River CEO James Foster said, in part, that the company “does not have any direct supply contracts with the indicted Cambodian supplier [Vanny]”—a statement clearly designed to give the appearance of innocence.

The whole truth is quite different.

Throughout the FWS investigation, Charles River was buying thousands of monkeys from the apparent unindicted coconspirators in the case—Orient BioResource Center (now Inotiv) and Worldwide Primates.

Graph with text reading "Cambodian VBRC-origin monkeys shipped from Charles River's Florida Facility"

PETA was able to trace records showing that monkeys obtained specifically from Vanny appear to have been at Charles River’s facility in Florida and were then trucked to the company’s other laboratories across the county. We also found that there was a huge spike in the number of Vanny monkeys leaving the Florida facility immediately after the U.S. Department of Justice issued indictments in the case—and this deserves scrutiny from the SEC.

So while Charles River may not have had a direct contract with Vanny, the company very likely was involved in the purchase and sale of monkeys illegally captured from their forest homes.

That’s the truth that Charles River needs to own up to.

Whistleblower: Sickly Monkeys Arrive at Charles River After 40-Hour Flight; PETA Calls For Probe

February 15, 2024

PETA is calling on federal authorities to investigate credible whistleblower reports that Bluebird Nordic flew hundreds of monkeys from Vietnam on a flight that took more than 40 hours and included five layovers while they were apparently denied veterinary care.

PETA also urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to inspect Charles River Laboratories’ facility in Houston, where the monkeys were trucked after their flight, reportedly in poor health and confined to fetid-smelling crates. Some appeared to be underweight and suffering from diarrhea, according to whistleblower reports.

Reports also suggest that the facility in Vietnam that supplied the primates doesn’t appear to have the capacity to send out such large numbers of captive-bred monkeys. Charles River’s leadership had previously visited the farm and expressed concerns about the conditions there, reports say.

Animals denied basic necessities such as veterinary care likely also aren’t being observed during flights or at refueling stops, as required under federal law. This is particularly concerning given the recently confirmed tuberculosis (TB) cases in monkeys from Mauritius and Southeast Asia, where the Bluebird Nordic flight originated.

Charles River, which is currently under civil and criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for violations of the Endangered Species and Lacey acts, plans to build a massive monkey facility—many times larger than its Houston facility—in Brazoria County, Texas.

Thousands of additional monkeys could be flown into the state.

Charles River is already the top importer of long-tailed macaques into the U.S., and the company experimented on 16,000 monkeys in 2022 alone. Rather than expanding, it should switch to more effective, animal-free test methods.

Please help us stop Charles River: Sign our letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture today.

Then please send a polite letter to Bluebird Nordic urging it to stop sending monkeys to their certain deaths in laboratories.

‘A Flight to Death’: PETA’s Media Blitz Slams Canadian Officials Over Monkey Imports

September 20, 2023

PETA is plastering stark new ads throughout Montréal calling out Canadian officials for enabling the deadly Cambodian monkey-importation industry—even after the U.S. halted such imports and indicted Cambodian government officials for passing off wild-caught monkeys as captive-bred. The ads have appeared at 33 bus stops throughout the city as well as in newspapers Le Devoir, The Suburban, and the Montreal Gazette. Join us in urging Canadian officials to slam the brakes on this corrupt and dangerous industry.

Newspaper pages from The Suburban, with PETA's full page spread included

PETA is plastering stark new ads throughout Montréal calling out Canadian officials for enabling the deadly Cambodian monkey-importation industry

Monkeys in the Middle: Protesters Pressure Feds to Send 1,000 Macaques to Sanctuaries

July 21, 2023

A troop of three dozen “monkeys” rallied outside the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C., demanding that Secretary Deb Haaland release 1,000 possibly illegally imported macaques to sanctuaries and compel Charles River Laboratories—which had brought the endangered animals into the U.S. from Cambodia—to pay for their lifetime care. These long-tailed macaques have existed in a state of legal limbo for months after the company failed to prove they hadn’t been abducted from their forest homes instead of bred in captivity.

Demonstrators wearing monkey masks stand in front of the department of the interior. One activist is wearing a costumew

Charles River Laboratories Faces Existential Crisis With Hubris and Arrogance

May 11, 2023

In presenting its 2023 first-quarter earnings report, Charles River wanted investors to believe that its attempts to develop a test confirming that it imports only purpose-bred monkeys would successfully bring its monkey-selling activities back to business as usual. They won’t.

PETA Slams the National Institutes of Health for Nearly $300 Million in Contracts With Charles River

April 26, 2023

In a letter to National Institutes of Health officials, PETA called on the agency to reconsider its contracts with Charles River, which is the subject of ongoing civil and criminal investigations for possible violations of monkey-importation laws.

Amid Probe by Feds, Charles River Fights Transparency, Pays Execs Millions, Calls Monkeys ‘Pests’

April 4, 2023

Even as infamous monkey dealer Charles River Laboratories is under federal investigation for possible illegal importation into the U.S. of monkeys who were allegedly abducted from their forest homes and falsely labeled as captive-bred, the company is fighting efforts to force it to come clean to shareholders. In a February briefing, CEO James Foster called monkeys mere “pests” in their native homes.

Illegally Captured Monkeys Used in Animal Testing Pose Risks to Public Health and Investors

March 21, 2023

“Charles River’s role in the international primate trade threatens wild populations of monkeys, causes immeasurable pain and misery to monkeys, and threatens public health—all of which pose reputational and legal risk to the company. The situation demands transparency and accountability,” says PETA Vice President Alka Chandna in an article for the Proxy Preview website, which promotes the use of shareholder activism to encourage corporations to be more socially responsible.

PETA Calls On Charles River and U.S. Government to Pay to Transfer 1,000 Monkeys to Sanctuary

March 17, 2023

PETA redoubled its efforts to have the 1,000 monkeys illegally imported by Charles River transferred to Born Free USA primate sanctuary in Texas, calling on the government and Charles River to pay for the monkeys’ transfer and lifetime care.

PETA Pledges $1 Million for Sanctuary Placement of 1,000 Illegally Imported Monkeys

March 14, 2023

After the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service prohibited Charles River from experimenting on the 1,000 monkeys the company had illegally imported into the U.S., the primates were left in limbo. Pushing for the transfer of the monkeys to Born Free USA primate sanctuary, PETA pledged $1 million for their placement.

PETA Calls On FWS to Halt Shipment of 1,000 Laundered Monkeys Back to Cambodia

March 13, 2023

After learning that Charles River intended to ship about 1,000 long-tailed macaques brought illegally into the U.S. back to Cambodia, PETA called on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service—which had taken the laudable step of preventing the company from experimenting on the monkeys in the U.S.—to stop the shipment and send the monkeys to a sanctuary.

PETA Calls On Charles River to Stop Deceiving Shareholders About Monkey Imports

March 9, 2023

In a letter to Charles River CEO James Foster, PETA called on the company to come clean about its purchases of monkeys from importers caught up in the alleged smuggling operation.

Charles River Under Federal Investigation for Monkey-Importation Issues

February 22, 2023

PETA is calling on Charles River to transfer illegally imported monkeys to a reputable sanctuary after learning that the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service are conducting parallel civil and criminal investigations into the company for possible violations of the law involving the importation of monkeys.

PETA Calls On Charles River to Transfer Illegally Trafficked Monkeys to a Reputable Sanctuary

December 12, 2022

After two major U.S. primate importers—Worldwide Primates and Inotiv—were implicated in monkey trafficking, PETA called on all laboratories that have received long-tailed macaques from these importers, including those operated by Charles River, to transfer illegally trafficked monkeys to a reputable sanctuary.

Charles River’s Dangerous Monkey Violations Called Out by PETA in Shareholder Resolution

November 28, 2022

PETA filed a shareholder resolution calling on Charles River to be transparent about its role in the voracious primate experimentation industry—reporting on the species, country of origin, and number of monkeys it imports into the U.S. and on any measures it takes to mitigate its impact on monkeys’ dwindling wild populations.

Feds Cite Charles River Laboratories for Illegal Monkey Transport After PETA Complaint

September 12, 2022

In a step toward ending cruel and dangerous monkey importation and transportation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited notorious experimentation giant Charles River Laboratories for transporting monkeys from its facility in Reno, Nevada, to the University of Utah without veterinary inspections required under the federal Animal Welfare Act.

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