Vegan Sanctuary Welcomes Retired FDA Research Monkeys

squirrel monkey

On the morning of Wednesday, November 14, Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary (JFPS) welcomed 26 squirrel monkeys to the 50 acre monkey sanctuary in Gainesville, FL, These monkeys had formerly been used in a terminated nicotine research study conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They were transported to JFPS for retirement, where they will live in “Almost Wild” habitats for the remainder of their lives. This is the first time the FDA has retired research monkeys to a sanctuary.

The $5.5 million study, which began in 2014, was named “Aspects of Nicotine Self-Administration in a Nonhuman Primate.” The research was to determine how different doses of nicotine affect addiction in adolescents. Taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project first discovered the FDA’s nicotine addiction tests on monkeys in Fall 2016 and uncovered videos and other details about the experiments using the Freedom of Information Act and a related federal lawsuit. In September 2017, Dr. Jane Goodall joined the campaign and sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb urging him to cancel the study. In late September 2017, the FDA halted the study. Gottlieb then appointed an independent review team to investigate. This team found that the study was not consistent with the agency’s high animal welfare standards (read Gottlieb’s statement here: In January 2018, Gottlieb ended it permanently and announced plans to retire the primates involved to a sanctuary.

JFPS, the largest New World primate sanctuary in the US and a vegan sanctuary, was chosen as the most appropriate sanctuary to retire the monkeys. JFPS, founded in 1997, provides permanent, high-quality sanctuary care for New World monkeys being retired from laboratory research, ex-pets, or monkeys who have been confiscated by the authorities. JFPS is one of the few primate sanctuaries in the nation who has experience in squirrel monkey care. The 26 squirrel monkeys will enjoy their retirement in neo-tropical natural habitats and will live an “Almost Wild” life.

Rep Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL) :”I’m proud that a Florida sanctuary stepped up to give these monkeys a home.”

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