Advocates: PETA pressuring Feds to bar use of primate for dug research

Conservation groups allege PETA interfered in an effort to designate a key primate species as endangered and is now using the finding to pressure Federal regulators.

A major conservation group is claiming PETA other activist groups are pressuring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list a specific primate species as endangered by relying on flawed designations from global advocates.

Australian-based Creative Conservation Solutions also claims that the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) breached its own conflict of interest policy several times. 


The backstory: The National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR) is challenging the designation from the IUCN that the long-tailed macaque should be considered endangered. 

  • Long-tailed macaques are a type of old world monkey native to Asia that are used in medical research to develop drugs in the United States. 
  • Earlier in June, the NABR filed a petition with the IUCN to challenge the endangered status, arguing that the assessment was filled with errors and did not provide evidence of species decline. 

Driving the news: In a letter to IUCN, Creative Conservations Solutions Managing Director Robert W.G. Jenkins listed several concerns regarding the conflict of interest policy and the endangered designation. 

  • Jenkins points out that Ardith Eudey was cited as a contributor to the assessment. Eudey was the co-founder of the International Primate Protection League, which is opposed to all trade in live primates, and its most recent newsletter states its opposition to the use of primates in biomedical research. 
  • Lisa Jones-Engel served as an assessor for the IUCN designation. She is a senior science advisor on primate experimentation for PETA. Another assessor was Sarah Kite, who is the founder of Action for Primate, an organization which opposes any primates being held in captivity or used in research. 
  • Jenkins also points out that Engel and Malene Friis Hansen, another assessor, are co-authors of an International Primatological Society policy statement that seeks to end the use of all wild caught primates for research. 
  • “As you are well aware, the ENDANGERED assessment of M. fascicularis, despite being derived through a flawed process, is now being used to further the goals of proponents, some of whom contributed to the Red List assessment, to petition the US Fish & Wildlife Service to list the species as either endangered or threatened under the US Endangered Species Act,” Jenkins wrote.
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