Massive Monkey Breeding Facility Planned in Georgia

A 200-acre breeding “megafacility” is planned in Bainbridge, Georgia, to provide monkeys for biomedical research. At peak capacity, it would hold 30,000 long-tailed macaques—at least triple the number currently housed at any other US breeding facility—and employ up to 263 workers. The first 500–1,000 monkeys would be imported from “several Asian countries.” 

The facility is a project of Safer Human Medicine, a new company whose CEO was previously COO at Envigo and whose president and COO previously held executive positions at Charles River Laboratories (CRL). Envigo (now owned by Inotiv) made headlines in 2022 for atrocious conditions documented at a now-shuttered beagle-breeding facility in Virginia. Following the indictment of Cambodian forestry officials and representatives of a foreign supplier over an alleged conspiracy to smuggle wild-caught long-tailed macaques from Cambodia into the United States for experimentation, CRL disclosed last year that the federal government was also investigating its conduct regarding shipments of nonhuman primates from Cambodia. (See AWI Quarterly, spring 2023.) 

The planned facility’s leadership, its sheer size, and the availability of a sufficient number of qualified animal care staff amidst an industry shortage all raise serious animal welfare concerns.

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