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December 19, 2022
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Atlanta – Armed with just lately obtained paperwork from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) revealing that extremely pathogenic brokers—together with one categorized as a bioterrorism agent—commonly enter the U.S. in shipments of monkeys imported for laboratory experiments, PETA has referred to as on Daniel Jernigan, appearing director of the Nationwide Middle for Rising and Zoonotic Infectious Ailments on the CDC, to droop the importation of primates for laboratory use instantly.
A case report simply revealed by people working on the CDC, the Texas Division of State Well being Companies, and monkey importer Inotiv’s primate quarantine facility in Texas revealed that in 2021, not less than 4 monkeys imported from Cambodia into Texas had been launched from quarantine regardless of being contaminated and certain shedding this lethal pathogen. Not less than six monkeys imported into the U.S. in 2020 and 2021 have been contaminated with the bacterium.
The identical day that the CDC turned over the damning paperwork to PETA, the company distributed a information launch alerting the general public to the presence of the bioterrorism agent Burkholderia pseudomallei within the soil and water of the Mississippi Delta area. Astonishingly, CDC officers stated publicly that that they had no thought how the bacterium acquired there. However the company clearly knew of 1 doable supply: monkeys contaminated with the agent imported into the U.S. to be used in experiments, together with as just lately as 2021.
Melioidosis is the infectious illness brought on by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. Illness signs can vary from acute septicemia (blood poisoning) to persistent an infection, leading to demise for 10% to 50% of these contaminated. Recurrence and reinfection are frequent. Provided that the bacterium is shed in feces, urine, blood, saliva, and pus and may survive in contaminated soil or water for years, complete illness notification is integral to mitigating public well being dangers.
“Melioidosis is likely one of the scariest ailments that you just’ve by no means heard of,” says PETA Senior Science Advisor Lisa Jones-Engel. “Plucking diseased and distressed monkeys from their pure habitats and inserting them into the primate experimentation commerce isn’t advancing human illness analysis, and PETA is asking on the CDC to take heed to the scientific neighborhood and finish this risk to people and different animals.”
The CDC has recognized for years that monkeys transported to the U.S. for experimental use who’ve cleared the CDC-required quarantine interval have been contaminated with melioidosis and different lethal pathogens. The bioterrorism agent even discovered its method into the CDC’s personal monkey colony in 2013 and was additionally detected in an outside monkey colony in Louisiana in 2015. A 2020 publication discovered that 87.9% of the monkeys at a primate-export facility in Indonesia had been seropositive for Burkholderia pseudomallei.
The CDC has failed to tell the general public that potential publicity to and an infection with this bioterrorism agent might happen by way of imported monkeys.
The paperwork launched to PETA, which span the years of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, additionally present that the CDC knew that imported monkeys, harassed and traumatized throughout a grueling worldwide journey, had been arriving contaminated with tuberculosis and different “unknown/indetermined” viruses that trigger diarrhea so violent that it sheds the liner of the intestine. The paperwork reveal that between 2019 and 2021, lots of of monkeys who had been imported into the U.S. and underwent quarantine exhibited gastrointestinal ailments and “[i]llness that could be of public well being concern similar to scientific indicators in keeping with filovirus [Ebola-like viruses] an infection, confirmed Shigella and Campylobacter an infection and malaria.”
The CDC quarantine is failing to forestall the introduction and unfold of harmful pathogens into and all through the U.S.