The lead story on NBC Miami on Friday night was about a horrible incident involving a South Florida company with a controversial recent history. Click here to view the excellent story by NBC 6 reporter Jeff Burnside.
In early 2009 approximately 92 owl monkeys were donated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta to Primate Products, Inc., a laboratory animal supplier in Miami. The CDC told NBC 6 that the monkeys were to be retired, “after a lifetime of experimentation in labs.”
Primate Products is infamous for disturbing photographs that surfaced last August that show monkeys at their facility with serious injuries and crude surgical mutilations. The photos attracted media attention and public protests. Primate Products accepts monkeys that are no longer needed by research facilities. The animals may be re-sold, used for breeding or in the sale “bio-products” (blood, tissue).
In July 2009, for reasons that are unclear, Primate Products delivered the owl monkeys to Everglades Outpost, a wildlife sanctuary in Homestead. Tragically, within three days of arriving at Everglades Outpost, 22 of the monkeys were dead. An additional six monkeys died the following week. It is not known what happened to the remaining monkeys, but there are no longer any owl monkeys at Everglades Outpost.
According to a report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture following the deaths, the owl monkeys who arrived at Everglades Outpost had been pair-housed for years. But upon arrival, the monkeys were placed together in a large enclosure. The USDA concluded that the deaths were likely caused by “behavioral stress and physical trauma” due to the “sudden group housing” of the monkeys.
Primate Products is a company with a long history of working with owl monkeys. They should have known better than to dump close to 100 animals at an organization that lacked the knowledge and facilities to properly care for them.
Please contact the CDC and urge them, in light of Primate Products, Inc.’s apparent negligence that contributed to the deaths of dozens of owl monkeys, to reconsider working with Primate Products in the future. Instead, ask the CDC to provide monkeys a true retirement at an established primate sanctuary where they may live their lives in peace. Contact:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Phone: (800) 232-4636
Visit ARFF’s website to learn more about Primate Products, Inc.