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PETA to Colombian Government:

Ban Capture of Monkeys for Biomedical Experiments

Update (June 13, 2024): Progress! Thanks to pressure from PETA, Colombian authorities have opened an investigation into Manuel Elkin Patarroyo’s decrepit laboratory, where monkeys endured horrible deaths. But that’s just a start. Please take action below to urge the Colombian government to ban the abduction of monkeys for use in biomedical experiments.

Originally published on June 4, 2024:

PETA has obtained records proving that wholesale abuse and neglect at a monkey laboratory in Colombia led to the deaths of 47 monkeys—most of them members of a now-endangered species—in just 14 months, while the regional agency charged with oversight did nothing as regulation after regulation was violated and the body count rose.

This is the second monkey-harming facility in the country that PETA has uncovered. We need your help to pressure the Colombian government to take immediate action to stop monkeys from being ripped from their forest homes for use in archaic and pointless biomedical experiments.

Please TAKE ACTION below.

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PETA’s Evidence:

What Exactly Is Happening?

A photo showing outdoor cages with rusty metal mesh
Obtained by PETA through a public records request to CORPOAMAZONIA

PETA has discovered that the facility, Fundación Instituto de Inmunología de Colombia (FIDIC), flouted numerous animal welfare, environmental, and public health regulations—with apparent impunity because the regional agency charged with enforcement turned a blind eye.

Experimenters used now-endangered monkeys in COVID-19 experiments without the necessary permits and denied monkeys veterinary care, leaving some to die painfully of tetanus or sepsis. Others were found dead in cages with signs of violence after being attacked by stressed cagemates.

Several monkeys in tiny metal cages
Monkeys are confined to cages at the Fundación Instituto de Inmunología de Colombia facility. The cages have sections covered in rust and no water bottles installed in the doors.

Records show that 47 monkeys—12% of the total caged there—died between March 2021 and May 2022. But necropsies to determine the cause of death were performed on only a handful of them.

A man hands a white plastic bag to another man
Captured monkeys in this laboratory are confined to plastic bags.
A man in blue scrubs uses a syringe to orally administer fluids to a monkey restrained by another man

The experimenters reported that, inexplicably, 18 of these animals died from “broncho-aspiration,” meaning they probably choked on food, water, or their own saliva. Heart attacks claimed nine more lives—also inexplicably. Staff never investigated these deaths. Other monkeys died from “cannibalism,” “hypothermia,” or “heat stress.”

One monkey died from a “severe hemorrhage” after a fractured limb went untreated for days.

As if more proof were needed to show what a disaster this laboratory is, 19 monkeys escaped through openings in its walls and ceilings.

Records also seem to indicate that staff were nowhere to be found when most of the monkeys died and that they recorded the deaths only when they happened to find their bodies. PETA also found that the facility, which caged hundreds of monkeys, operated without a veterinarian for seven months in 2021.

A monkey is restrained for inspection
Close up of the monkey being inspected

Records from a 2021 inspection of the facility show that 66 monkeys pulled their own hair out, 48 were underweight, and four had eye problems. Months later, more than half the facility’s monkeys showed signs of malnutrition and had other significant health problems.

Pushing a Boulder Up the Hill of Failure

A group of monkeys peer from a box
Obtained by PETA through a public records request to CORPOAMAZONIA

Manuel Elkin Patarroyo, the facility’s founder and director, has experimented on animals for decades, purportedly attempting to develop a malaria vaccine—an effort that he’s completely failed at.

Toothless Law Enforcement

This hellhole—located on the banks of the Amazon River—is the second decrepit animal experimentation facility in Colombia where PETA has found systemic and wide-ranging animal abuse.

Two squirrel monkeys look at the viewer© Aymer Álvarez/El País
These squirrel monkeys, who were also rescued from the Primate Center Foundation, are recovering at the CVC’s wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center.

In 2023, our 18-month investigation into the Caucaseco Scientific Research Center—which operated torture chambers masquerading as science centers—prompted the rescue of all animals caged there and charges of environmental crimes for the experimenters. The National Institutes of Health, which pumped millions of dollars into the facilities, cut off U.S. taxpayer funds. The Caucaseco experimenters also abducted monkeys from their forest homes—a practice that’s legal in Colombia.

Hypocrisy in Action

Two people look into the outdoor enclosures
Obtained by PETA through a public records request to CORPOAMAZONIA

Later this year, Colombia will host the 16th meeting of the United Nations’ premier biodiversity conference, the Convention on Biological Diversity, or COP16. The country won the coveted hosting spot by talking a big game about its commitment to protecting biodiversity and becoming a “global powerhouse for life.”

As a U.N. official said in a recent interview, “It’s important that Colombia leads by example at the COP16.”

We could not agree more. Colombia should start by cleaning up its own house and cracking down on questionable biomedical experimentation that depletes its forests of the lives it claims to value.

What You Can Do

Please TAKE ACTION by urging Colombian officials to end the abduction of monkeys from their forest homes, and put some teeth into the enforcement of its own regulations.

After you do that, you’ll see an easy way to share this information. Please ask five friends or relatives to support this campaign!

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PETA to Colombian Government: Ban Capture of Monkeys for Biomedical Experiments

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