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Following the recent indictments of several people allegedly involved in a monkey-smuggling operation, Cambodia has halted exports of non-human primates that are widely used in pharmaceutical research, a move that may crimp drug discovery efforts by a wide array of companies and institutions.

The development was disclosed by Inotiv, a contract research organization subpoenaed in connection with a U.S. government investigation into the importation of wild long-tail macaques. The indictments issued last month by the U.S. Attorney in Florida were directed at the company’s principal supplier of non-human primates, as well as two Cambodian wildlife officials.


Inotiv is a major supplier of non-human primates to corporate, government, and academic research laboratories around the U.S. The company said in a statement that it has not been directed to refrain from selling non-human primates purchased from Cambodia, but decided not to sell or deliver any of the animals in its inventory until it is clear whether they were bred in captivity or in the wild.

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