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Update (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.
Canadian officials haven’t been paying attention. The U.S. has suspended all shipments of monkeys from Cambodia following indictments by the U.S. Department of Justice against Cambodian government officials and nationals for allegedly abducting monkeys from their forest homes but claiming they were born in captivity so they could sell them to experimenters around the world.
But the Cambodian monkey trade is booming in Canada—and we need your help to shut it down.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is allowing the importation of hundreds—possibly thousands—of endangered long-tailed macaques from Cambodia for use in laboratories. A government database shows that hundreds of monkeys—perhaps more than 1,000—recently arrived in Montréal.
Were these monkeys the victims of smuggling rings, ripped from their families and homes and sold illegally? It’s impossible for us—and Canadian officials—to know. It’s a gamble that U.S. officials are now unwilling to take: They’ve shut down all monkey shipments from Cambodia until importers can prove the origin of these animals.
Importing monkeys also poses a grave and potentially fatal public health risk. Monkeys—who are already stressed from their capture or from the conditions in filthy, severely crowded breeding facilities—are loaded into crates for days-long travel and exposed to numerous pathogens that they could carry into Canada.
Tuberculosis, a highly infectious disease that’s readily transmitted between monkeys and humans, is emerging in primate colonies globally. PETA uncovered an outbreak at a Michigan laboratory that houses imported monkeys, and two humans are now undergoing treatment. Monkeys from Cambodia have also been the source of a pathogen so deadly that the U.S. classifies it as a bioterrorism agent.
Long-tailed macaques in Cambodia and elsewhere in Asia have been driven to the brink of extinction, in large part due to the demand from laboratories and suppliers like Charles River Laboratories, which has facilities in Canada. Charles River is under U.S. federal civil and criminal investigation for possible violations of monkey-importation laws.
Please TAKE ACTION by telling Canadian officials to follow the U.S.’ lead and immediately shut down the monkey-importation trade in Canada.