Immokalee, Fla. – Three years after a 2015 PETA investigation revealed at least 25 violations of animal-protection laws involving horrific conditions and systemic abuse at notorious monkey importer and dealer Primate Products, Inc.
PETA is urging its 6.5 million members and supporters to demand that the dealer reveal what happened to one monkey, named Loretta, whose tragic story is told in a new PETA video. PPI has refused to respond to PETA’s request for information about her fate. So far, over 22,000 people have e-mailed the dealer wanting to know her whereabouts-and the e-mails continue to pour in every day.
PETA’s investigation documented highly stressed monkeys living in bleak conditions of terrible privation. Loretta, a sweet, submissive monkey, was caged with incompatible ones who attacked her regularly. She had lacerations on her face and body and extensive hair loss, likely from plucking her own hair out-a sign of extreme psychological distress. In cold weather, the other monkeys huddled together, leaving Loretta to shiver alone. Although PETA’s eyewitness repeatedly reported Loretta’s compromised welfare to PPI supervisors, they trivialized or ignored the reports and allowed her condition to deteriorate.
“Workers at PPI allowed a gentle, terrified monkey to suffer without relief, even as she lost most of her hair in distress and trembled alone in the cold,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling on this horrendous monkey prison to stop hiding suffering in the shadows and to come clean about what happened to Loretta.”
Following PETA’s investigation of PPI, which revealed sick and injured monkeys forced to live in filthy, barren, and dangerous conditions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited PPI for at least 25 violations of animal-welfare regulations in reports here and here. The agency’s investigative arm also opened a formal investigation, which is still ongoing.
PETA notes that PPI has shipped monkeys to the National Institutes of Health, Charles River Laboratories, and Columbia and New York universities and has received federal contracts worth more than $19 million since 2000.
Broadcast-quality video footage from PETA’s investigation is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org or click here.