US Department of Agriculture Investigates Florida Monkey Dealer After PETA US Sting
For Immediate Release:
June 11, 2015
Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 235; [email protected]
US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE INVESTIGATES FLORIDA MONKEY DEALER AFTER PETA US STING
PETA US Investigation Reveals Suffering, Fear and Death at Controversial Supplier to Federal Government, University Laboratories
London – An eight-month PETA US eyewitness investigation has documented systemic neglect and violent handling of monkeys at Primate Products, Inc. (PPI), the controversial warehouse that imports hundreds of monkeys every year and sells them to laboratories for sometimes invasive, painful and deadly experiments. PPI has been the target of animal-rights protests against cruel and potentially illegal treatment of animals. After viewing PETA US’ eyewitness video footage, available here, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspectors confirmed PETA’s findings, citing PPI for at least 25 violations of nine animal-welfare regulations, and have opened an investigation.
PETA US’ footage documents horrific conditions at the Florida facility, where sick and injured monkeys were sometimes denied adequate veterinary care and forced to live in filthy, barren and dangerous conditions. Some monkeys paced in circles and rocked from side to side from boredom and stress, and workers sometimes failed to separate monkeys who had been attacked by aggressive cagemates, leaving them with exposed bone, bite wounds, and hair loss. The eyewitness video shows workers holding monkeys with protruding rectal tissue—which can be a sign of extreme distress—and crudely shoving the tissue back into their bodies.
Workers routinely grabbed monkeys by the tails, which is not only stressful but also can cause severe and irreversible nerve pain. Although temperatures dipped to 1.7 degrees, most monkeys kept outside were denied heat throughout the winter. Monkeys were found dead inside buildings, and one was found dead of suspected hypothermia in an outdoor enclosure. Pens’ floors were sometimes covered with accumulated waste and days’ worth of old food, and PPI’s failing water pump sometimes left thirsty monkeys shaking empty dispensers in search of water.
“The terrified monkeys in this warehouse were forced to suffer in fear, pain and boredom in barren and sometimes freezing concrete pens and were sometimes even denied adequate veterinary care and water,” says PETA Director Mimi Bekhechi. “PETA US is urging PPI customers to cut ties with the company and calling on officials to shut this horrendous monkey prison down for good.”
In addition to the USDA complaint, on the 1st of June PETA US also filed complaints with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration against PPI, which imported 1,000 monkeys from China and Mauritius in 2014 – 63 percent of whom were wild-caught. In 2014, PPI shipped monkeys to NIH and Columbia and New York universities, among others. The facility has also been awarded federal contracts worth more than £8.5 million since June 2004 from agencies such as NIH, the U.S. Army, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Broadcast-quality video footage from PETA US’ investigation is available upon request, and photographs are available here.
For more information about monkeys used in experimentation, please visit PETA.org.uk.