The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service are investigating Charles River Laboratories for possible violations of monkey-importation laws. This follows DOJ indictments of Cambodian officials and nationals for allegedly selling monkeys taken from the wild as bred in captivity. According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a company shareholder briefing on 22nd February 2023, the DOJ has subpoenaed the animal testing giant, one of the largest importers of monkeys for experiments, and the company has agreed not to sell any of the monkeys involved for the time being.
According to the animal rights organisation PETA, Charles River has a long history of violating laws and regulations, allegedly failing to provide suffering animals with pain relief or appropriate medical care, and failing to conduct proper veterinary inspections before trucking monkeys across the US. PETA demands that any monkey victims of illegal activities be released to sanctuaries at the company’s expense and if the company is found to have illegally imported monkeys, then its import license will be revoked.
Dr Lisa Jones-Engel, PETA’s primate scientist, said, “if Charles River Laboratories has trafficked monkeys to U.S. laboratories or violated other laws, it should be stripped of its license to import them and pay for the sanctuary placement of all those involved. All Charles River customers that purchased monkeys from the company must be investigated and forced to release any that were illegally brought to the U.S. for use in cruel, pointless experiments.”
Last year, PETA filed a complaint with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement against Hainan Airlines for reportedly shipping 720 endangered long-tailed macaques from Cambodia to Chicago in August 2022.
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