More Monkey Business
The United States hasn’t had enough non-human primates to go around the last few years.
First, America’s largest supplier, China, ceased exporting them in 2020. Then the COVID-19 pandemic drove up demand for primates used in lab testing. Then animal trafficking allegations in America’s new largest source, Cambodia, caused the importer Inotiv to pause distribution last year.
The shortage of imports means that thousands of potential research projects have slowed down or stopped—a global problem given the importance of America’s pharmaceutical industry. And now that problem is only getting worse: Charles River Laboratories, one of America’s largest non-human primate importers, has now suspended shipments from Cambodia.
Charles River Labs announced in a February report that it was joining Inotiv in suspending imports from Cambodia. The company had been subpoenaed by the Justice Department as a part of an ongoing investigation into the alleged Cambodian monkey laundering ring. CRL stated it intended “to fully cooperate with the U.S. government as part of their investigation.”