Charles River Laboratories, one of the largest clinical research organizations in the U.S., is suspending shipments of non-human primates that are widely used in pharmaceutical research after receiving a subpoena from federal authorities probing a Cambodian smuggling ring.
The move comes after several people — including two Cambodian wildlife officials — were indicted in November for their alleged involvement in the monkey-smuggling operation. The smugglers obtained long-tail macaques, which are protected by international law, from national parks and protected areas in Cambodia, and then shipped them with labels falsely identifying the primates as having been bred in captivity.
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