After four straight years of decline, the number of primates imported into the U.S. unfortunately increased by 8.5 percent over last year’s figure, according to preliminary data IPPL has been able to obtain from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Last year, according to revised data we received on April 8, 2013, the U.S. imported 17,448 primates. In 2013, the U.S. officially imported 18,934 apes and monkeys—1,486 more than in 2012.

Crab-eating macaque

Long-tailed macaques (a.k.a. crab-eating macaque monkeys) like this one are imported by the thousands into the U.S. every year for research purposes.

 

Species imported

Over 90 percent of the imported primates were crab-eating (a.k.a. long-tailed) macaque monkeys. They are widely used in the U.S. for toxicology testing and biomedical experiments. Year after year, this species tops the list of primate imports. As IPPL Executive Director Shirley McGreal noticed, “The pig-tailed macaque, once touted as THE model for AIDS research, has fallen out of favor, to the extent that none were imported in 2013.”

Only four apes (two gorillas and two siamangs) were brought in. The gorillas were transferred between zoos (Calgary to Dallas). The two siamangs were imported from the Dortmund Zoo in Germany to the Tanganyika Wildlife Park, near Wichita, Kansas. This facility is not currently accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Siamangs are native to Southeast Asia; I wonder how they are enjoying winter in the American Midwest?

Common Name Scientific Name Number Percent
crab-eating macaque Macaca fascicularis 17,301 91.38
rhesus macaque Macaca mulatta 1,255 6.63
common squirrel monkey Saimiri sciureus 172 0.91
common marmoset Callithrix jacchus 80 0.42
green monkey Chlorocebus sabaeus 46 0.24
vervet monkey Chlorocebus pygerythrus 16 0.08
tufted capuchin Cebus apella 16 0.08
black howler Alouatta caraya 10 0.05
red-tailed monkey Cercopithecus ascanius 9 0.05
mantled guereza Colobus guereza 9 0.05
black-crested mangabey Lophocebus aterrimus 5 0.03
gelada Theropithecus gelada 5 0.03
Wolf’s mona monkey Cercopithecus wolfi 4 0.02
western gorilla Gorilla gorilla 2 0.01
weeper capuchin Cebus olivaceus 2 0.01
siamang Symphalangus syndactylus 2 0.01
TOTAL 18,934 100

 

Primary countries of origin

China was again the single largest supplier of imported primates, a perennial source of surprise, since their chief export, the long-tailed macaque, is not native to China. Shirley points out that Indonesia and St. Kitts, both of which exported some hundreds of monkeys to the U.S. in 2012, did not send us any this past year. Another interesting absence: Laos, which has been setting up monkey capture and breeding centers; however, no monkeys reached us from Laos directly in 2013.

These countries supplied at least 100 primates to the U.S.

Country Number Percent
China 10,681 56.41
Mauritius 2,842 15.01
Cambodia 2,340 12.36
Vietnam 1,920 10.14
Guyana 189 1.00

 

Source of the animals

The reported number of wild-caught primates seems oddly low, and is likely not accurate. Similarly, says, Shirley, it is impossible to determine whether the number of “F1” animals (born in captivity to wild mothers) is true—or, for that matter, the number of captive bred animals.

Source Number Percent
Wild caught 433 2.29
Born in captivity (F1+ generations) 6,543 34.56
Captive bred 11,958 63.16

 

Primary ports of entry

These ports accepted at least 100 incoming primates each.

Port Number Percent
Chicago, IL 10,681 56.41
Houston, TX 5,580 29.47
Los Angeles, CA 1,381 7.29
New York, NY 1,197 6.32

 

Primary U.S. importers

These research facilities brought in more 500 monkeys each. Together, they accounted for 93 percent of all U.S. primate imports.

U.S. Importer Number
COVANCE RESEARCH PRODUCTS, INC. 8,247
SNBL USA, LTD. 2,865
CHARLES RIVER LABORATORIES, BRF 2,691
CHARLES RIVER LABORATORIES, RM HOUSTON 2,490
BUCKSHIRE CORPORATION 626
CHARLES RIVER LABORATORIES 607

 

Primary foreign exporters

Each of these exporters sent the U.S. at least 500 monkeys.

Foreign Exporters Number
GUANGXI WEMEI BIO-TECH CO. LTD. 3,600
HUAZHENG LABORATORY ANIMAL BREEDING CENTER 2,740
BIOCULTURE MAURITIUS LTD. 2,093
TIAN HU CAMBODIA ANIMAL BREEDING RESEARCH CENTER LTD. 1,820
KHI BIO SERVICES C/O NAFOVANNY (NAFOVANNY C/O KHI BIOSERVICES LTD) 1,440
GUANGDONG BLOOMING SPRING BIOLOGICAL TECHNOLOGY 1,076
GUANGZHOU BLOOMING SPRING BIOLOGICAL TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT 860
NOVEPRIM LTD. 606
SUZHOU JINNUO IMPORT & EXPORT CO., LTD. 520

 

If you are interested in a complete copy of the 2013 data set, please contact the IPPL office (info@ippl.org).

 

3 Comments. Leave new

Shame on you, these are Sentient beings, who feel all the things Humans do.

Guenter Heinze
January 18, 2014 11:43 am

Very interesting!

sheila ruscetta
January 21, 2014 11:09 pm

This is a disgrace! Didn’t know the extent of animal cruelty that is going on in USA for the sake of science? Really? I’ll accept my life cycle fate in return to mitigate any more animal testing and experimenting. I can’t sleep at night now. I will become more active on this issue.

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