For Immediate Release:
March 9, 2023
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Wilmington, Mass. – Charles River Laboratories may not have told the whole truth when it released its annual shareholder report last month. The report followed the company’s announcement that it was under investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for possible involvement in an alleged monkey-smuggling ring.
PETA, in a letter today, is calling on Charles River CEO James Foster to come clean to shareholders with the whole truth, including the facts below—one of which is that the company purchases monkeys from the unindicted co-conspirators in the alleged smuggling operation:
- A recent DOJ indictment alleges that monkeys sold by Vanny Bio Research (Colombia) Corporation Ltd. (VBRC) were being laundered as “captive-bred,” despite being wild-caught. Last year, Charles River’s Reno laboratory received 697 long-tailed macaques from Worldwide Primates, believed to be one of the two unindicted co-conspirators referred to in the DOJ complaint.
- Charles River has also received at least 2,537 long-tailed macaques, shipped to laboratories across the country, from two monkey-import facilities in Alice, Texas, owned by Inotiv, whose principal primate supplier is VBRC.
- Records indicate that Charles River also obtains monkeys from a second Cambodian monkey supplier, KF LTD, which was previously known as Golden China Group and reportedly engaged in the illegal capture of long-tailed macaques.
- The importation of monkeys by Charles River and other U.S. laboratory suppliers is pushing two species to the brink of extinction.
- PETA recently revealed that last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention alerted monkey importers that long-tailed macaques imported from Cambodia had been arriving infected with a bacteria so deadly that it’s listed as a Tier 1 Select Agent.
“Charles River’s shareholders have a right to know that their company is linked to businesses allegedly mixed up in illegally importing wild monkeys,” says PETA primate scientist Dr. Lisa Jones-Engel. “PETA is calling on Charles River to divulge its full role in driving the extinction of macaques worldwide by importing and experimenting on monkeys instead of embracing superior animal-free research.”
PETA previously submitted a shareholder resolution calling on Charles River to report on the species, country of origin, and number of monkeys it imports into the U.S. and to report any measures it takes to mitigate its impact on monkeys’ dwindling wild populations.
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, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.