Pain, Fear, and Death Documented at Monkey Breeding Facility
An Animal Rights Article from


Marc Bekoff, Psychology Today/Animal Emotions
June 2015

Primate Products cruelty
Image from Primate Products...Loretta plucked her own hair out, which is a sign of psychological distress that can be caused by inappropriate social groupings, social isolation or rough handling...

Following up on an essay I wrote last week called "New York Blood Center Leaves Chimps to Die of Starvation," primates are once again in the news. [Also read New York Blood Center Abandons Over 60 Chimps, Leaving Them To Die of Starvation]

This time, unspeakable abuse has warranted an Associated News essay in the New York Times titled "Feds Inspect Fla. Monkey Farm at PETA's Behest (link is external)" that begins:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investigating a monkey breeding facility in southwest Florida after an animal welfare group said an undercover worker found sick and injured monkeys living in inhumane and unsanitary conditions.

Furthermore, "Primate Products uses two species of macaques from China, Cambodia, Mauritius or Vietnam. The animals are quarantined upon arriving in the U.S. Primate Products then breeds the monkeys for resale and distribution to research institutions, pharmaceutical companies and the federal government, according to a company spokesman. The monkeys sell for about $3,200 each." Clearly, wild caught animals are subjected to ongoing horrific treatment and the company makes a nice profit from selling these animals to research facilities.

This is not simply "animal rights hype"

PETA's (link is external) own report is called "Eyewitness Exposé: Pain, Fear, and Death at Primate Products, Inc." Among other things including testimonials about the horrific abuse from noted scientists, this detailed report notes:

"Workers with no formal veterinary training pushed monkeys’ internal tissues, which protruded from their anuses—possibly as a result of stress—back into their bodies. The workers held these animals up side down and then sometimes shook them. Dr. Nicholas Dodman, an animal behaviorist, veterinary anesthesiologist, and professor, wrote, 'This procedure would cause the monkey fear and pain and unnecessary suffering. … This is a veterinary procedure that requires a veterinarian to be present'” [emphasis added]. (Dr. Dodman is world-renowned in his field.)

While some may dismiss PETA's claims as "animal rights hype," clearly this is not the case. Indeed, it was PETA's calling attention to the ongoing abuse that motivated the USDA to inspect the facility. And, if you have the stomach for it, you can see a video and some photos here as well.

I offer before you do that it is not a pretty picture, and it'll bring you to tears. I remain incredulous that anyone could continuously treat sentient beings in this way. These fascinating and magnificent sentient beings have suffered a total loss of any sort of freedom, and it is reprehensible and inexcusable. Their very lives and families and friends have been stolen from them so they can rot in tiny and filthy cells.

You can do something.

The up side of this sad exposé is that you can do something about it by scrolling to the bottom of PETA's report (link is external) and filing a petition that already has more than 15,000 signatures. Please do. These monkeys and billions of other sentient animal beings depend on our goodwill to do all we can on their behalf.

Marc Bekoff's latest books are Jasper's story: Saving moon bears (with Jill Robinson), Ignoring nature no more: The case for compassionate conservation, Why dogs hump and bees get depressed, and Rewilding our hearts: Building pathways of compassion and coexistence. The Jane effect: Celebrating Jane Goodall (edited with Dale Peterson) has recently been published. (; @MarcBekoff)

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